Ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate

Curr Sports Med Rep. Jul-Aug 2008;7(4):230-6. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31817ef530.


Athletes use many different strategies to enhance their performance, including clothing and footwear, training regimes, diets, and ergogenic aids. The use of ergogenic aids is believed to be widespread, with a variety of legal as well as illegal substances being used previously and currently. Among the more popular ergogenic aids is the use of sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate, collectively recognized as "buffers." These substances potentially provide the body with added resistance against fatigue caused by deleterious changes in acid-base balance brought about by a variety of exercise modes and durations. The popularity of buffering has generated a plethora of research dating back to the 1930s, which continues to date. The issues surrounding buffering revolve around the dosage size, timing of ingestion, and the type of exercise to benefit from the use of buffers. We hope this review addresses these pertinent issues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / metabolism*
  • Sports


  • Sodium Bicarbonate