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Acute and chronic loading of sodium bicarbonate in highly trained swimmers

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In the present study, 200-m swim time in highly trained male swimmers was measured on two consecutive days (Trial 1 and Trial 2) and under three conditions [(1) acute loading, AcL; (2) chronic loading, ChL; (3) Placebo, PLA]. No sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) was administered between Trial 1 and Trial 2 under each condition. Blood lactate concentration ([La]), base excess of extracellular fluid (BEecf), plasma bicarbonate concentration ([HCO3 ]) and pH were determined before and after capsule administration as well as at 0, 3, 5, 15 and 30 min after each 200-m swim trial. Swim time was not different among AcL, ChL or PLA for Trial 1 or 2 and we observed no change in 200-m swim time from Trial 1 to 2 under any condition (F = 0.48, P = 0.80). [HCO3 ], pH and BEecf measured after capsule administration was higher during AcL and ChL when compared with PLA (P < 0.05). We did not observe any difference in blood [La] between the three conditions at any stage post-exercise (P > 0.05). The results indicate that acute and chronic loading of NaHCO3 does not improve 200-m swim time in highly trained male swimmers.

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This research was funded in part by the Centre of Excellence, Queensland Academy of Sport and Swimming Australia.

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Correspondence to Clare Minahan.

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Communicated by Susan A. Ward.

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Joyce, S., Minahan, C., Anderson, M. et al. Acute and chronic loading of sodium bicarbonate in highly trained swimmers. Eur J Appl Physiol 112, 461–469 (2012).

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