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Effects of pre-exercise alkalosis on the decrease in \(\dot{V}O_{2}\) at the end of all-out exercise

Abstract

Purpose

This study determined the effects of pre-exercise sodium bicarbonate ingestion (ALK) on changes in oxygen uptake (\(\dot{V}O_{2}\)) at the end of a supramaximal exercise test (SXT).

Methods

Eleven well-trained cyclists completed a 70-s all-out cycling effort, in double-blind trials, after oral ingestion of either 0.3 g kg−1 of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or 0.2 g kg−1 body mass of calcium carbonate (PLA). Blood samples were taken to assess changes in acid–base balance before the start of the supramaximal exercise, and 0, 5 and 8 min after the exercise; ventilatory parameters were also measured at rest and during the SXT.

Results

At the end of the PLA trial, which induced mild acidosis (blood pH = 7.20), subjects presented a significant decrease in \(\dot{V}O_{2}\) (P < 0.05), which was related to the amplitude of the decrease in minute ventilation (\(\dot{V}_{E}\)) during the SXT (r = 0.70, P < 0.01, n = 11). Pre-exercise metabolic alkalosis significantly prevented the exercise-induced decrease in \(\dot{V}O_{2}\) in eleven well-trained participants (PLA: 12.5 ± 2.1 % and ALK: 4.9 ± 0.9 %, P < 0.05) and the decrease in mean power output was significantly less pronounced in ALK (P < 0.05). Changes in the \(\dot{V}O_{2}\) decrease between PLA and ALK trials were positively related to changes in the \(\dot{V}_{E}\) decrease (r = 0.74, P < 0.001), but not to changes in power output (P > 0.05).

Conclusions

Pre-exercise alkalosis counteracted the \(\dot{V}O_{2}\) decrease related to mild acidosis, potentially as a result of changes in \(\dot{V}_{E}\) and in muscle acid–base status during the all-out supramaximal exercise.

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Abbreviations

ALK:

Alkalosis trial due to pre-exercise sodium bicarbonate ingestion

BE:

Base excess

Bf:

Breathing frequency

CaCO3 :

Calcium carbonate

FI:

Fatigue index

H+ :

Proton

HR:

Heart rate

HRmax :

Maximal HR

GXT:

Graded exercise test

[HCO3 ]b :

Blood bicarbonate concentration

[La]b :

Blood lactate concentration

MAP:

Maximal aerobic power

NaHCO3 :

Sodium bicarbonate

Ptot:

Mean power for the entire test

P20:

Mean power during the first 20 s of the test

P50:

Mean power during the last 50 s of the test

P5end :

Mean power during the last 5 s of the test

pΔ50:

Power output midway between the MAP and the maximal theoretical power produced at the corresponding pedaling rate

PETO2 :

End-tidal O2 tension

PETCO2 :

End-tidal CO2 tension

PLA:

Placebo trial due to pre-exercise calcium carbonate ingestion

Pmax :

Maximal power output

Post-Ing:

60 min post-ingestion of the supplementation or placebo

Pre-Ex:

Immediately before the 70-s supramaximal exercise

Post-Ex:

Immediately after the 70-s supramaximal exercise

R5:

5 min of the recovery after the supramaximal exercise test

R8:

8 min of the recovery after the supramaximal exercise test

SaO2 :

Arterial oxygen saturation

SXT:

Supramaximal exercise test

\(\dot{V}CO_{2}\) :

Carbon dioxide production

\(\dot{V}_{E}\) :

Minute ventilation

\(\dot{V}O_{2}\) :

Oxygen uptake

\(\dot{V}O_{2}\) max :

Maximal oxygen uptake

\(\dot{V}O_{2}\) end :

Oxygen uptake at the end of the test in the last 5 s

\(\dot{V}_{E}\) end :

Minute ventilation at the end of the test in the last 5 s

\(\dot{V}O_{2}\) peak :

Peak oxygen uptake

\(\dot{V}_{E}\) peak :

Peak minute ventilation

V T :

Tidal volume

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank the athletes for their time and efforts, and are grateful to the French Ministry of Health, Youth and Sport for their financial support. They also thank Doctor Christian Palierne for his medical assistance, and Pierrick Arnal, Julien Siracusa, and Thibault Herluison for their technical assistance. The authors are grateful to the French Ministry of Health, Youth and Sport for their financial support (Grant 11-i-40).

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Correspondence to Claire Thomas.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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Communicated by Carsten Lundby.

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Thomas, C., Delfour-Peyrethon, R., Bishop, D.J. et al. Effects of pre-exercise alkalosis on the decrease in \(\dot{V}O_{2}\) at the end of all-out exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 116, 85–95 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3239-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3239-0

Keywords

  • Oxygen uptake
  • Minute ventilation
  • Acid–base status
  • High-intensity exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Sodium bicarbonate