Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Blood--Analysis; Exercise--Physiological aspects;


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of orally ingested sodium bicarbonate on performance time and the accumulation of blood lactic acid in trained middle distance runners during short-term, high intensity treadmill running.

Nine, male, varsity track athletes, from the University of Northern Iowa performed two runs to exhaustion on a motor-driven treadmill at 15 mph. Sodium bicarbonate (NaHC03), or a placebo calcium carbonate (Caco3 ), amounting to .3 grams per kilogram of body weight was orally ingested 135 minutes prior to exercise. Venous blood was collected immediately before exercise, two minutes after exercise, and three minutes after exercise and analyzed for blood lactate concentrations.

Although performance time was longer after the ingestion of NaHco3 (2:41.4 min) compared to the ingestion of CaC03 (2:23.8 min), the difference was not statistically significant at the .05 level. Pre-exercise blood lactate concentrations were not significantly different after the ingestion of NaHCO3 or Caco3. Two min and three min post-exercise blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher after the ingestion of NaHC03. This increase in post-exercise blood lactate most probably reflects an increased buffering of the extracellular hydrogen ions.

The results of this study suggest that an induced alkaline state, through the oral ingestion of NaHco3, does not significantly enhance performance of short-term, high intensity exercise. However, the accumulation of blood lactate is significantly enhanced after the ingestion of NaHC03 .

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Forrest Dolgener

Second Advisor

N. Kay Covington

Third Advisor

Larry D. Hensley


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Date Original


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