Volianitis, S., Rasmussen, P., Seifert, T., & Secher, N. H. (2009). The effect of bicarbonate infusion on cerebral metabolism during maximal exercise. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study evaluated the influence of pH on cerebral metabolism during maximal exercise. Sodium bicarbonate (350-500 ml) or an equal volume of saline was infused intravenously at a constant rate during a 2,000 m maximal ergometer row in male oarsmen (N = 6).

During the saline trial, pH decreased significantly from ~7.41 at rest to ~7.02 but only to ~7.36 during the sodium bicarbonate trial. Arterial lactate increased to ~21.4 mM in the saline trial and to ~32.7 during the bicarbonate trial. The jugular artery venous lactate difference and the cerebral metabolic ratio were similar between treatments.

Implication. Sodium bicarbonate infusion increases blood-buffering capacity by reducing metabolic acidosis but does not affect the cerebral lactate uptake or the cerebral metabolic ratio during maximal exercise.

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