Goods, Paul S. R.
June 2014
Journal of Australian Strength & Conditioning;Jun2014, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p91
As with any sprint-based sport, swimming coaches are constantly seeking methods of improving the speed of sprint intervals and maintaining maximal intensity throughout an entire training session. This review article is intended to summarise the recent literature of the efficacy of sodium bicarbonate to enhance repeated swimming sprints. Our search yielded 6 articles which investigated the use of sodium bicarbonate to enhance performance in multiple bouts of sprint swimming. Following the review of recent literature, it appears that an acute dose of 0.3 g.kg-1 of sodium bicarbonate, 90 min prior to exercise, may enhance repeat swimming sprint performance by a magnitude of 1-2%, and is more likely to be beneficial in repeated swimming sprints performed with relatively short rest durations. Protocols which attempt to replicate a competition day (eg. heats and finals), which separate sprints by 20 - 30 min, are less likely to result in significant performance enhancement, and sodium bicarbonate's effectiveness may decrease when exercise duration is increased beyond 60 s. To minimise the chances of gastrointestinal upset, swimmers should probably consume sodium bicarbonate in capsule form with water, and a co-ingested meal consisting of 1 - 1.5 g.kg-1 of carbohydrates.


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