Effect of acute sodium bicarbonate ingestion on excess C02 output during incremental exercise

  • Kohji Hirakoba
  • Atsuo Maruyama
  • Kouji Misaka


The effect of bicarbonate ingestion on total excess volume of CO2 Output (CO2 excess), due to bicaronate buffering of lactic acid in exercise, was studied in eight healthy male volunteers during incremental exercise on a cycle ergometer performed after ingestion (0.3 g · kg−1 body mass) of CaCO3 (control) and NaHCO3 (alkalosis). The resting arterialized venous blood pH (P<0.05) and bicarbonate concentration ([HCO3]b;P<0.01) were significantly higher in acute metabolic alkalosis [AMA; pH, 7.44 (SD 0.03); [HCO3]b; 29.4 (SD 1.5) mmol·1-1] than in the control [pH, 7.39 (SD 0.03); [HCO3]b, 25.5 (SD 1.0) mmol·1−1]. The blood lactate concentrations ([la]b) during exercise below the anaerobic threshold (AT) were not affected by AMA, while significantly higher [la]b at exhaustion [12.29 (SD 1.87) vs 9.57 (SD 2.14) mmol·1−1,P < 0.05] and at 3 min after exercise [14.41 (SD 1.75) vs 12.26 (SD 1.40) mmol · l−1,P < 0.05] were found in AMA compared with the control. The CO2 excess increased significantly from the control [3177 (SD 506) ml] to AMA [3897 (SD 381) ml;P < 0.05]. The CO2 excess per body mass was found to be significantly correlated with both the increase of [la]b from rest to 3 min after exercise (Δ [la]b;r=0.926,P < 0.001) and with the decrease of [HCO3]b from rest to 3 min after exercise (Δ [HCO3]b;r=0.872,P<0.001), indicating that CO2 excess per body mass increased linearly with both Δ [lab and Δ [HCO3]b. As a consequence, CO2 excess per body mass per unit increase of [la]b (CO2 excess·mass−1·Δ [la]b) was similar for the two conditions. The present results would suggest that the relationship between CO2 excess and blood lactate accumulation was unaffected by acute metabolic alkalosis, because the relative contribution of bicarbonate buffering of lactic acid was the same as in the control.

Key words

CO2 excess Acute metabolic alkalosis Bicarbonate Blood pH Blood lactate accumulation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beaver WL, Wasserman K (1991). Muscle RQ and lactate accumulation from analysis of the VCO2-VO2 relationship during exercise. Clin J Sport Med 1:27–34Google Scholar
  2. Beaver WL, Wasserman K, Whipp BJ (1986) Bicarbonate buffering of lactic acid generated during exercise. J Appl Physiol 60:472–478Google Scholar
  3. Bouissou P, Defer G, Guezennec Y, Estrade PY, Serrurier B (1988) Metabolic and blood catecholamine responses to exercise during alkalosis. Med Sci Sports Exerc 20:228–232Google Scholar
  4. Cechetto D, Mainwood GW (1978) Carbon dioxide and acidbase balance in the isolated rat diaphragm. Pflügers Arch 376:251–258Google Scholar
  5. Costill DL, Verstappen F, Kuipers H, Janssen E, Fink W (1984) Acid-base balance during repeated bouts of exercise: influence of HCO3. Int J Sports Med 5:228–231Google Scholar
  6. Davis JA, Frank MF, Whipp BJ, Wasserman K (1979) Anaerobic threshold alterations caused by endurance training in middleaged man. J Appl Physiol 46: 1039–1046Google Scholar
  7. Forster HV, Dempsey JA, Thompson J, Vidruk E, DoPico GA (1972) Estimation of arterial PO2, PCO2, pH, and lactate from arterialized venous blood. J Appl Physiol 32:134–137Google Scholar
  8. Hadjivassilou AG, Pieder SV (1968) The enzymatic assay of pyruvic and lactic acids. A definitive procedure. Clin Chim Acta 19:357–361Google Scholar
  9. Heisler N (1975) Intracellular pH of isolated rat diaphragm muscle with metabolic and respiratory changes of extracellular pH. Respir Physiol 23:243–255Google Scholar
  10. Hirakoba K, Maruyama A, Inaki M, Misaka K (1992) Effect of endurance training on excessive C02 expiration due to lactate production in exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 64:73–77Google Scholar
  11. Hirakoba K, Maruyama A, Misaka K (1990) Relationship between C02 excess due to lactic acid production during exercise and endurance performance (in Japanese). Jpn J Phys Fitness Sports Med 39:69–77Google Scholar
  12. Hirche HJ, Hombach V, Langohr HD, Waker U, Busse J (1975) Lactic acid permeation rate in working gastrocnemii of dogs during metabolic alkalosis and acidosis. Pflugers Arch 356:209–222Google Scholar
  13. Jones NL (1980) Hydrogen ion balance during exercise. Clin Sci 59:85–91Google Scholar
  14. Jones NL, Sutton JR, Taylor R, Toews CJ (1977) Effect of pH on cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses to exercise. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol 43:959–964Google Scholar
  15. Kowalchuk JM, Heigenhauser GFJ, Lindinger MI, Obminski J, Sutton JR, Jones NL (1988) Role of lungs and inactive muscle in acid-base control after maximal exercise. J Appl Physiol 65:2090–2096Google Scholar
  16. Kowalchuk JM, Heigenhauser GJF, Jones NL (1984) Effect of pH on metabolic and cardiorespiratory responses during progressive exercise. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol 57:1558–1563Google Scholar
  17. Mainwood GW, Worsley-Brown P (1975) The effect of extracellular pH and buffer concentration on the efflux of lactate from frog sartorious muscle. J Physiol (Loud) 250:1–22Google Scholar
  18. Mainwood GW, Worsley-Brown P, Paterson RA (1972) The metabolic changes in frog sartorius muscles during recovery from fatigue at different external bicarbonate concentrations. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 50:143–155Google Scholar
  19. Parry-Billings M, MacLaren DPM (1986) The effect of sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate ingestion on anaerobic power during intermittent exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 55:524–529Google Scholar
  20. Robin ED (1961) Of men and mitochondria-intracellular and subcellular acid-base relations. N Engl J Med 265:780–785Google Scholar
  21. Rupp JC, Bartels RL, Zuelzer W, Fox EL, Clark RN (1983) Effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on blood and muscle pH and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 15:115Google Scholar
  22. Spriet LL, Lindinger MI, Heigenhauser GJF, Jones NL (1986) Effet of alkalosis on skeletal muscle metabolism and performance during exercise. Am J Physiol 251:R833-R839Google Scholar
  23. Steinhagen C, Hirche HJ, Nestle HW, Bovenkamp U, Hosselmann I (1976) The interstitial pH of the working gastrocnemius muscle of the dog. Pflügers Arch 367:151–156Google Scholar
  24. Sutton JR, Jones NL, Toews CJ (1981) Effect of pH on muscle glycolysis during exercise. Clin Sci 61:331–338Google Scholar
  25. Sutton JR, Jones NL (1979) Control of pulmonary ventilation during exercise and mediators in the blood: CO2 and hydrogen ion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 11:198–203Google Scholar
  26. Wasserman K, Whipp BJ, Davis JA (1981) Respiratory physiology of exercise: metabolism, gas exchange, and ventilatory control. In: Widdicome JG (ed) Respiratory physiology, III. International review of physiology. University Park Press, Baltimore, pp 149–211Google Scholar
  27. Wasserman K, Whipp BJ, Koyal S, Beaver WL (1973) Anaerobic threshold and respiratory gas exchange during exercise. J Appl Physiol 35:236–243Google Scholar
  28. Wilkes D, Gledhill N, Smyth R (1983) Effect of acute induced metabolic alkalosis on 800-m racing time. Med Sci Sports Exere 15:277–280Google Scholar
  29. Yano T (1987) The differences in CO2 kinetics during incremental exercise among sprinters, middle, and long distance runners. Jpn J Physiol 37:369–378Google Scholar
  30. Yano T, Asano K, Nomura T, Matsuzaka A, Hirakoba K (1984) Kinetics of VCO2 during incremental exercise (in Japanese). Jpn J Phys Fitness Sports Med 33:201–210Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kohji Hirakoba
    • 1
  • Atsuo Maruyama
    • 2
  • Kouji Misaka
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health and Physical EducationKagoshima Keizai UniversityKagoshima-shiJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of EducationKagoshima UniversityKagoshima-shiJapan

Personalised recommendations