Gleadall-Sidall, D. O., Midgley, A. W., & Siegler, J. C. (June 03, 2010). Sodium bicarbonate ingestion and repeated swim sprint performance. Presentation 1923 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study observed the ergogenic potential of 0.3 g/kg of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) in competitive, non-elite swimmers using a repeated swim sprint design that eliminated the technical component of turning. Swimmers (M = 6; F = 8) completed two trial conditions sodium bicarbonate ingestion and sodium chloride (salt - placebo) ingestion each separated by one week. Ss were paired according to ability and completed eight, 25-m front crawl maximal effort sprints each separated by five seconds. Blood acid-base status was assessed pre-ingestion, pre- and post-swim via capillary finger sticks, and total swim time was calculated as a performance measure.

Total swim time was significantly decreased (~ -2%) in the sodium bicarbonate treatment compared to placebo condition. Blood analysis revealed significantly elevated blood buffering potential pre-swim along with a significant decrease in extracellular K+ in the sodium bicarbonate condition.

Implication. Sodium bicarbonate ingested 2.5 hours before swimming exercise enhances blood buffering potential, and positively influences performance.

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