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Anne Delextrat, Sinead Mackessy, Luis Arceo-Rendon, Aaron Scanlan, Roger Ramsbottom and Julio Calleja-Gonzalez

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 3-day serial sodium bicarbonate ingestion on repeated sprint and jump performance. Fifteen female university basketball players (23.3 ± 3.4 years; 173.1 ± 5.8 cm; 65.8 ± 6.3 kg; 23.6 ± 4.9% body fat) ingested 0.4 g/kg body mass of sodium bicarbonate or placebo for 3 days (split in three equal daily doses), before completing a simulated basketball exercise. Sprint and circuit times, jump heights, performance decrements, and gastrointestinal side effects were recorded during the test, and blood lactate concentration was measured pre- and posttest. Sodium bicarbonate supplementation led to significant decreases in mean sprint times (1.34 ± 0.23 vs. 1.70 ± 0.41 s, p = .008, 95% confidence intervals [−0.54, −0.10 s]) and mean circuit times (30.6 ± 2.0 vs. 31.3 ± 2.0 s, p = .044) and significantly greater mean jump height (26.8 [range 25.2–34.2] vs. 26.0 [range 25.6–33.6] cm, p = .013) compared with placebo. Performance decrement was significantly less for sprints with sodium bicarbonate compared with placebo (9.9 [range 3.4–37.0]% vs. 24.7 [range 4.1–61.3]%, p = .013), but not different for jumps (13.1 ± 4.5% vs. 12.5 ± 3.1%, p = .321) between conditions. No differences in gastrointestinal side effects were noted between conditions. Significantly greater postexercise blood lactate concentrations were measured in the sodium bicarbonate condition compared with the placebo condition (8.2 ± 2.8 vs. 6.6 ± 2.4 mmol/L, p = .010). This study is the first to show that serial loading of sodium bicarbonate is effective for basketball players to improve repeated sprint and jump performance during competition, or withstand greater training load during practice sessions without any gastrointestinal side effects.

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Roger Ramsbottom, Anne Ambler, Janie Potter, Barbara Jordan, Alan Nevill and Carol Williams

Where strength training has been used in conjunction with functional-task training in older people, not only have there been improvements in leg strength but also improved function has been measured (e.g., Skelton & McLaughlin, 1996). Many studies use participants from care homes rather than community dwellers. We investigated changes in leg power, balance, and functional mobility in community-dwelling sedentary men and women over 70 years of age (n = 6 for training group [TR]; n = 10 for control group [CN]). Progressive training took place over 24 weeks using seated and nonseated exercise. For TR, leg power increased 40%, from 108 ± 40 to 141 ± 53 W (p < .01); dynamic balance increased 48%, from 22.3 ± 7.9 to 33.1 ± 6.1 cm (p < .01; functional reach); and functional mobility increased 12%, from 7.46 ± 1.32 to 6.54 ± 1.41 s (p < .05; timed walk). CN showed no significant change. In conclusion, a community-based exercise program led to large improvements in leg-extensor power, dynamic balance, and functional mobility.