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  • Author: Sinead Mackessy x
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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.