Acute Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation on Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Discomfort, Acid-Base Balance, and Performance of Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

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Luciano Ragone, Joao Guilherme Vieira, Mateus Camaroti Laterza, Luis Leitao, Jefferson da Silva Novaes, Jeferson Macedo Vianna, Marcelo Ricardo Dias

The purpose of the present study was to verify the acute effect of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort, acid-base balance and intermittent isometric handgrip test performance in JiuJitsu athletes. Ten male (22.2 ± 3.9 years; 174 ± 0.07 cm; 74.5 ± 8.9 kg) jiu-jitsu athletes participated in this counterbalanced double-blind crossover study. Two protocols, a) supplementation with 0.3 of body weight of sodium bicarbonate, and b) supplementation with 0.045 of body weight of placebo substance, were employed. Gastrointestinal tolerability was assessed by the questionnaire. Blood samples were collected at three time points (baseline, pre-ISO, and post-ISO) to determine the responses of potential hydrogenionic (pH), bicarbonate (HCO3-), base excess (EB) and lactate concentrations. The maximum voluntary contraction test and the intermittent isometric contraction test were also performed. As a result, none of the athletes reported significant gastrointestinal discomfort (p > 0.05). HCO3-, pH, and EB at the pre-ISO and post-ISO moments were significantly higher for the sodium bicarbonate protocol. Lactate concentrations were significantly higher for both post-ISO protocols (p = 0.000). There was no significant difference in the performance of the maximum voluntary contraction test and the intermittent isometric contraction test (p > 0.05). Thus, we conclude that sodium bicarbonate supplementation does not generate adverse responses resulting in gastrointestinal discomfort, and does not benefit performance yet promotes a state of metabolic alkalosis
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2020-0039
Key words
NaHCO3, metabolic alkalosis, martial arts, handgrip exercise, intermittent exercise

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