Impact of sodium citrate ingestion during recovery after dehydrating exercise on rehydration and subsequent 40-km cycling time-trial performance in the heat

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Jun;43(6):571-579. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0584. Epub 2018 Jan 11.


The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of sodium citrate (CIT) ingestion (600 mg·kg-1) during recovery from dehydrating cycling exercise (DE) on subsequent 40-km cycling performance in a warm environment (32 °C). Twenty male nonheat-acclimated endurance athletes exercised in the heat until 4% body mass (BM) loss occurred. After 16 h recovery with consumption of water ad libitum and prescribed diet (evening meal 20 kcal·kg-1, breakfast 12 kcal·kg-1) supplemented in a double-blind, randomized, crossover manner with CIT or placebo (PLC), they performed 40-km time-trial (TT) on a cycle ergometer in a warm environment. During recovery greater increases in BM and plasma volume (PV) concomitant with greater water intake and retention occurred in the CIT trial compared with the PLC trial (p < 0.0001). During TT there was greater water intake and smaller BM loss in the CIT trial than in the PLC trial (p < 0.05) with no between-trial differences (p > 0.05) in sweat loss, PV decrement, ratings of perceived exertion, or TT time (CIT 68.10 ± 3.28 min, PLC 68.11 ± 2.87 min). At the end of TT blood lactate concentration was higher (7.58 ± 2.44 mmol·L-1 vs 5.58 ± 1.32 mmol·L-1; p = 0.0002) and rectal temperature lower (39.54 ± 0.50 °C vs 39.65 ± 0.52 °C; p = 0.033) in the CIT trial than in the PLC trial. Compared with pre-DE time point, PV had decreased to a lower level in the PLC trial than in the CIT trial (p = 0.0001). In conclusion, CIT enhances rehydration after exercise-induced dehydration but has no impact on subsequent 40-km cycling TT performance in a warm uncompensable environment.

Keywords: core temperature; effort perçu; perceived exertion; plasma volume; rétention d’eau; température centrale; volume plasmatique; water retention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Bicycling*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Citrates / administration & dosage*
  • Citrates / adverse effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dehydration / blood
  • Dehydration / diagnosis
  • Dehydration / drug therapy*
  • Dehydration / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drinking
  • Estonia
  • Exercise Test
  • Fluid Shifts
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Plasma Volume
  • Recovery of Function
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance
  • Weight Loss


  • Biomarkers
  • Citrates
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Lactic Acid