Bicarbonate supplementation via lactate efflux improves anaerobic and cognitive performance in elite combat sport athletes

Jakub Chycki, Adam Zajac, Michał Toborek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was the assessment of sodium bicarbonate supplementation (NaHCO3-) on anaerobic and cognitive performance, assuming ergogenic effect of HCO3 by improving buffering capacity and greater lactate efflux, which may have indirect effect on circulating neurotrophin level (e.g BDNF, IGF-1) and memory. Sixteen well-trained judo athletes completed a randomized trial of either a NaHCO3- (EG) (5000 mg x 2/day/90 min before training) or placebo for 21 days (CG). Before and after treatment, athletes completed double Wingate test (Wt) protocol following which they performed perceived Working Memory test (pWM). Results suggested significant increase in Upper Limb Total Work (with p = 0.011), Mean Power (with p = 0.001), post exercise LA concentration (from 15.51 mmol/L to 18.10 mmol/L with p = 0.01) and HCO3rest concentrations (from 27.37 mmol/l to 28.91 mmol/l with p = 0.001), when compared to baseline values in EG. The analysis showed statistically significant increase in values for IGF-1 (with p = 0.001) and decrease for cortisol and BDNF (with p = 0.001) in EG and CG, when pre and post exercise values were compared. We also revealed statistically significant decrease in values for display time after ingestion of HCO3 between pre and post exercise (with p = 0.002) In conclusion, the lack of a substantial relationship between exerkines (IGF-1, BDNF) and memory in the present study might suggest that exercise induced lactate levels is dominant mechanism improving working memory in well-train athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545
Number of pages1
JournalBiology of Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Anaerobic performance Bicarbonate Lactate metabolism BDNF Cognitive function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Physiology (medical)


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