Circadian changes in urinary bicarbonate, nitric oxide metabolites and pH in female player during handball camp involved in an exercise, rest and sleep cycle

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2002 Apr;196(4):281-91. doi: 10.1620/tjem.196.281.


Bicarbonate and nitric oxide levels are important humoral factors in the blood and are affected by the human body's physical condition. There are few reports, however, on changes in blood bicarbonate and nitric oxide levels during exercise and rest. Since urinary bicarbonate and nitric oxide metabolites reflect the levels of bicarbonate and nitric oxide in the blood, we studied circadian changes in 6 female athletes by monitoring their urinary pH and their levels of urinary bicarbonate and nitric oxide metabolites. Measurements were taken during exercise, rest and sleep. Six female athletes participated in a 3-day team handball training camp where they followed a schedule of exercise, rest and sleep. Urinary samples were collected immediately before and after handball training, at bed-time and upon waking. The urinary pH and levels of urinary bicarbonate and nitric oxide metabolites, including nitrite and nitrate, were examined with a blood gas analyzer and a NOx analyzer. The samples collected after handball training, as compared to the samples taken before exercise, showed a decreased pH, a decrease in levels of bicarbonate and little change in NO metabolites. During rest, urinary bicarbonate, NO metabolites and pH increased markedly in all 6 subjects. The levels of urinary bicarbonate, NO metabolites and pH significantly decreased upon waking. This study took into account the subjects' various physiological conditions when considering the significance of their changes in urinary bicarbonate, NO metabolites and pH during the 3 day handball training program. There were significant circadian changes in the urinary pH, and in the levels of urinary bicarbonate and nitric oxide metabolites, in the athletes involved in the exercise, rest and sleep program at team handball camp.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activity Cycles / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Bicarbonates / urine*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nitric Oxide / urine*
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology*


  • Bicarbonates
  • Nitric Oxide