Comparing the Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate on Time to Exhaustion on a Cycle Ergometer Test in Men vs. Women

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Dr. Maureen Dunn

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Taking sodium bicarbonate as an ergogenic aid has been shown to improve time to fatigue in highly trained athletes in quick bouts of strenuous exercise. This supplement has been previously shown to act as a buffer and may reduce the amount of hydrogen ions in the blood, allowing the participant to continue exercise for an extended amount of time before fatigue sets in. The purpose of this study was to examine the difference that sodium bicarbonate has on time to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer test in moderately trained men and women. Twenty college students, ten males and ten females, were assessed for time to exhaustion and lactate levels during a high-intensity cycle ergometer test, designed to elicit fatigue within 2-4 minutes. Participants were given either 16 oz. of water or 0.3g/kg of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in 16 oz. of water two hours before exercise, and then asked to cycle for as long as possible. It was hypothesized that men would have a greater mean difference in time to exhaustion while taking the supplement than women. Significant results would allow sodium bicarbonate to be given prior to gender-specific sports, to allow a greater advantage. This study is ongoing, and results will be available during the poster celebration.

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