Practical recommendations for coaches and athletes: a meta-analysis of sodium bicarbonate use for athletic performance

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jul;26(7):1975-83. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182576f3d.


Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a buffering agent that is suggested to improve performance by promoting the efflux of hydrogen ions from working cells and tissues. Research surrounding its efficacy as an ergogenic aid is conflicting, making it difficult to draw conclusions as to its effectiveness for training and competition. This study performed a meta-analysis of relevant research articles to allow the development of concise practical recommendations for coaches and athletes. The overall effect size for the influence of NaHCO3 on performance was moderate, and was significantly lower for specifically trained as opposed to recreationally trained participants.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / prevention & control
  • Alkalosis / chemically induced
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Buffers
  • Humans
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / administration & dosage*


  • Buffers
  • Sodium Bicarbonate