Topical sodium bicarbonate: No improvement in blood buffering capacity or exercise performance

Alannah K.A. McKay, Peter Peeling, Martyn J. Binnie, Paul S.R. Goods, Marc Sim, Rebecca Cross, Jason Siegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a topical sodium bicarbonate (0.3 g/kg body weight NaHCO3) application (PR lotion; Amp Human) on blood buffering capacity and performance in recreationally active participants (study A) and moderately trained athletes (study B). Methods: In Study A, 10 participants completed 2 experimental trials: oral NaHCO3 (0.3 g/kg body weight + placebo lotion) or PR lotion (0.9036 g/kg body weight + oral placebo) applied 90 minutes prior to a cycling task to exhaustion (30-s sprints at 120% peak power output with 30-s rest). Capillary blood was collected and analyzed for pH, bicarbonate, and lactate every 10 minutes throughout the 90-minute loading period and postexercise at 5, 10, and 15 minutes. In Study B, 10 cyclists/triathletes completed 2 experimental trials, applying either PR or placebo lotion 30 minutes prior to a cycling performance task (3 × 30-s maximal sprints with 90-s recovery). Capillary blood samples were collected at baseline, preexercise, and postexercise and analyzed as per study A. Results: In Study A, pH and bicarbonate were significantly elevated from baseline after 10 minutes in the oral NaHCO3 condition and throughout recovery compared with no elevation in the PR lotion condition (P <.001). No differences in cycling time occurred between PR lotion (349 [119] s) and oral NaHCO3 (363 [80] s; P =.697). In Study B, no differences in blood parameters, mean power (P =.108), or peak power (P =.448) were observed between conditions. Conclusions: PR lotion was ineffective in altering blood buffering capacity or enhancing performance in either trained or untrained individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Volume15
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Topical sodium bicarbonate: No improvement in blood buffering capacity or exercise performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this