Alkaline water improves exercise-induced metabolic acidosis and enhances anaerobic exercise performance in combat sport athletes

PLoS One. 2018 Nov 19;13(11):e0205708. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205708. eCollection 2018.


Hydration is one of the most significant issues for combat sports as athletes often use water restriction for quick weight loss before competition. It appears that alkaline water can be an effective alternative to sodium bicarbonate in preventing the effects of exercise-induced metabolic acidosis. Therefore, the main aim of the present study was to investigate, in a double blind, placebo controlled randomized study, the impact of mineral-based highly alkaline water on acid-base balance, hydration status, and anaerobic capacity. Sixteen well trained combat sport athletes (n = 16), were randomly divided into two groups; the experimental group (EG; n = 8), which ingested highly alkaline water for three weeks, and the control group (CG; n = 8), which received regular table water. Anaerobic performance was evaluated by two double 30 s Wingate tests for lower and upper limbs, respectively, with a passive rest interval of 3 minutes between the bouts of exercise. Fingertip capillary blood samples for the assessment of lactate concentration were drawn at rest and during the 3rd min of recovery. In addition, acid-base equilibrium and electrolyte status were evaluated. Urine samples were evaluated for specific gravity and pH. The results indicate that drinking alkalized water enhances hydration, improves acid-base balance and anaerobic exercise performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / drug effects
  • Acidosis / etiology
  • Adult
  • Alkalies / administration & dosage*
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Bicarbonates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / administration & dosage*
  • Sports / physiology


  • Alkalies
  • Bicarbonates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Sodium Bicarbonate

Grant support

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland under Grant NRSA3 03953 and NRSA4 040 54.