Lopiccolo, M., Woodcock, J., Hancock, B., Davis, J. E., & Luetkemeier, M. J. (2004). Effects of sodium citrate ingestion on exercise performance at moderate altitude. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 1173.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of sodium citrate ingestion and moderate altitude exposure on high-intensity exercise performance. Subjects (N = 6) were tested at sea level (SL1), upon acute exposure to 3,400 m (ALT1), two weeks following acclimatization at 3,400 m (ALT2), and upon return to sea level (SL2). Each subject performed a cycle ergometer exercise protocol corresponding to approximately 110% of their VO2max until exhaustion. The protocol was performed twice under each condition, once after ingestion of a placebo, and once after ingestion of a sodium citrate drink (.4 gms of sodium citrate per kg of body weight in 500 ml of water). Time to exhaustion and changes in blood lactate levels post-exercise were measured.

There were no significant increases in time to exhaustion at ALT 1 for the placebo compared to the sodium citrate condition or at any of the other three (SL1, ALT2, SL2) conditions. Blood lactate levels during ALT2 were significantly increased relative to SL1. Under all other conditions, no significant blood lactate differences were observed. Some gastrointestinal distress was also experienced as a side effect of sodium citrate ingestion.

Implication. Sodium citrate had no significant effect on high-intensity exercise performance at altitude or sea level.

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