Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on prolonged running performance and recovery in trained runners

  • Lew Ka Shing ,
  • Ler Hui Yin ,
  • Gee Yong Yong ,
  • Wee Eng Hoe ,


Background: While the effects of sodium bicarbonate on buffering capacity have been repeatedly examined on short-term and high-intensity exercise performance, studies on prolonged endurance performances such as running are scarce. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of NaHCO? (0.3 g/kgBW) ingestion 60-minutes prior to the prolonged running testing and recovery in trained runners.

Methods: A total of 10 trained male runners (age: 20.70±1.10 years; weight: 61.30±6.20 kg; height: 166.10±3.70 cm; VO2max 58.43±5.62 mL/kg/min) were recruited in this study. Subjects undertook 1 preliminary testing and 2 experimental trials: Sodium Bicarbonate (SB) and Placebo (PLA) trials, which consisted of: (i) a 60-minutes Prolonged Exercise Testing (PET) (30-minutes of constant speed run at 65 % of VO2max followed by a self-selected speed of 30-minutes maximum distance run) and (ii) 30-minutes of the recovery period in randomized order. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23 for Windows.

Results: Subjects ran further during the SB trial than the PLA trial (5,233.60±524.70 m vs. 5,021.40±440.10 m; p=0.012) associated with a greater blood lactate level (5.66±1.09 mmol/L vs. 3.68±0.71 mmol/L). Ingestion of SB drinks significantly increased urine pH during PET and recovery period (p<0.01). During post-recovery, a greater decrease in blood lactate level was found in the SB trial (2.53±0.91 mmol/L; 55%) as compared to the PLA trial (2.17±0.50 mmol/L; 41%) (p<0.01).

Conclusion: The ingestion of NaHCO?(0.30 g/kgBW) 60-minutes prior to the PET improved prolonged running performance associated with a faster lactate removal rate during the 30-minutes recovery period.  


1. Burke LM, Pyne DB. Bicarbonate loading to enhance training and competitive performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2007;2(1):93-97.
2. Lancha Junior AH, Painelli Vde S, Saunders B, Artioli GG. Nutritional Strategies to Modulate Intracellular and Extracellular Buffering Capacity During High-Intensity Exercise. Sports Med. 2015;45 Suppl 1:S71-S81.
3. Pruscino CL, Ross ML, Gregory JR, Savage B, Flanagan TR. Effects of sodium bicarbonate, caffeine, and their combination on repeated 200-m freestyle performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008;18(2):116-130.
4. Castell LM, Burke LM, Stear SJ, McNaughton LR, Harris RC. BJSM reviews: A-Z of nutritional supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance Part 5. Br J Sports Med. 2010;44(1):77-78.
5. McNaughton LR, Ford S, Newbold C. Effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on high intensity exercise in moderately trained women. J Strength Cond Res. 1997;11(2):98-102.
6. Saunders B, Sale C, Harris RC, Sunderland C. Sodium bicarbonate and high-intensity-cycling capacity: variability in responses. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014;9(4):627-632.
7. Siegler JC, Gleadall-Siddall DO. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion and repeated swim sprint performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(11):3105-3111.
8. Thomas C, Delfour-Peyrethon R, Bishop DJ, Perrey S, Leprêtre PM, Dorel S, et al. Effects of pre-exercise alkalosis on the decrease in VO2 at the end of all-out exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016;116(1):85-95.
9. Campos EZ, Sangali EB, Neto JG, Gobbi RB, Junior IFF, Papoti M. Effects of Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion during an Intermittent Exercise on Blood Lactate, Stroke Parameters, and Performance of Swimmers. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online. 2012;15(6):84-92.
10. Carr AJ, Slater GJ, Gore CJ, Dawson B, Burke LM. Effect of sodium bicarbonate on [HCO3-], pH, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011;21(3):189-194.
11. Price MJ, Cripps D. The effects of combined glucose-electrolyte and sodium bicarbonate ingestion on prolonged intermittent exercise performance. J Sports Sci. 2012;30(10):975-983.
12. Borg GA. Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1982;14(5):377-381.
13. Karavelioglu MB. Detection of the effects of sodium bicarbonate supplement on blood lactate and heart rate values of female futsal players before and after yo-yo/1 test. Anthropologist. 2014;18(3):745–749.
14. Freis T, Hecksteden A, Such U, Meyer T. Effect of sodium bicarbonate on prolonged running performance: A randomized, double-blind, cross-over study. PLoS One. 2017;12(8):e0182158.
15. Dalle S, Koppo K, Hespel P. Sodium bicarbonate improves sprint performance in endurance cycling. J Sci Med Sport. 2020;S1440-2440(20)30770-2.
16. da Silva RP, de Oliveira LF, Saunders B, de Andrade Kratz C, de Salles Painelli V, da Eira Silva V, et al. Effects of ?-alanine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on the estimated energy system contribution during high-intensity intermittent exercise. Amino Acids. 2019;51(1):83-96.
17. Lopes-Silva JP, Da Silva Santos JF, Artioli GG, Loturco I, Abbiss C, Franchini E. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion increases glycolytic contribution and improves performance during simulated taekwondo combat. Eur J Sport Sci. 2018;18(3):431-440.
18. Stephens TJ, McKenna MJ, Canny BJ, Snow RJ, McConell GK. Effect of sodium bicarbonate on muscle metabolism during intense endurance cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;34(4):614-621.
19. McNaughton LR, Siegler J, Midgley A. Ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2008;7(4):230-236.
20. Linderman J, Fahey TD. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion and exercise performance. An update. Sports Med. 1991;11(2):71-77.
21. Hilton NP, Leach NK, Hilton MM, Sparks SA, McNaughton LR. Enteric-coated sodium bicarbonate supplementation improves high-intensity cycling performance in trained cyclists. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2020;120(7):1563-1573.

How to Cite

Shing, L. K., Yin, L. H., Yong, G. Y., & Hoe, W. E. (2021). Effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on prolonged running performance and recovery in trained runners. Bali Medical Journal, 10(3), 964–969.