Sodium Bicarbonate and Time-to-Exhaustion Cycling Performance: A Retrospective Analysis Exploring the Mediating Role of Expectation.

Journal article


Gurton, W., Matta, G., Gough, L., Ranchordas, M., King, D. and Hurst, P. 2023. Sodium Bicarbonate and Time-to-Exhaustion Cycling Performance: A Retrospective Analysis Exploring the Mediating Role of Expectation. Sports Medicine - Open. 9 (1), p. 65. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-023-00612-5
AuthorsGurton, W., Matta, G., Gough, L., Ranchordas, M., King, D. and Hurst, P.
AbstractResearch has shown that ingesting 0.3 g·kg body mass sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO ) can improve time-to-exhaustion (TTE) cycling performance, but the influence of psychophysiological mechanisms on ergogenic effects is not yet understood. This study retrospectively examined whether changes in TTE cycling performance are mediated by positive expectations of receiving NaHCO and/or the decline in blood bicarbonate during exercise. In a randomised, crossover, counterbalanced, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 12 recreationally trained cyclists (maximal oxygen consumption, 54.4 ± 5.7 mL·kg·min ) performed four TTE cycling tests 90 min after consuming: (1) 0.3 g·kg body mass NaHCO in 5 mL·kg body mass solution, (2) 0.03 g·kg body mass sodium chloride in solution (placebo), (3) 0.3 g·kg body mass NaHCO in capsules and (4) cornflour in capsules (placebo). Prior to exercise, participants rated on 1-5 Likert type scales how much they expected the treatment they believe had been given would improve performance. Capillary blood samples were measured for acid-base balance at baseline, pre-exercise and post-exercise. Administering NaHCO in solution and capsules improved TTE compared with their respective placebos (solution: 27.0 ± 21.9 s, p = 0.001; capsules: 23.0 ± 28.1 s, p = 0.016). Compared to capsules, NaHCO administered via solution resulted in a higher expectancy about the benefits on TTE cycling performance (Median: 3.5 vs. 2.5, Z = 2.135, p = 0.033). Decline in blood bicarbonate during exercise was higher for NaHCO given in solution compared to capsules (2.7 ± 2.1 mmol·L , p = 0.001). Mediation analyses showed that improvements in TTE cycling were indirectly related to expectancy and decline in blood bicarbonate when NaHCO was administered in solution but not capsules. Participants' higher expectations when NaHCO is administered in solution could result in them exerting themselves harder during TTE cycling, which subsequently leads to a greater decline in blood bicarbonate and larger improvements in performance. Ingesting 0.3 g·kg body mass sodium bicarbonate in solution and capsules improved time-to-exhaustion cycling performance Positive expectancy about the benefits of sodium bicarbonate and decline in blood bicarbonate were higher when sodium bicarbonate was administered in solution compared with capsules Improvements in time-to-exhaustion cycling performance for sodium bicarbonate administered in solution were related to expectancy and the enhanced extracellular buffering response. [Abstract copyright: © 2023. The Author(s).]
KeywordsBeliefs; High-intensity exercise; Placebo effect; Ergogenic aids; Extracellular buffering
Year2023
JournalSports Medicine - Open
Journal citation9 (1), p. 65
PublisherSpringer Open
ISSN2199-1170
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-023-00612-5
Official URLhttps://sportsmedicine-open.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40798-023-00612-5
Publication dates
Online31 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Aug 2023
Accepted12 Jul 2023
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Restricted
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Is there a role for implicit and explicit information about placebo and nocebo effects in reducing the use of drugs in sport?
Hurst, P., Beedie, C., Coleman, D. and Foad, A. 2017. Is there a role for implicit and explicit information about placebo and nocebo effects in reducing the use of drugs in sport?
Is the intention to use sport supplements a predictor of placebo and nocebo responding among athletes?
Hurst, P., Beedie, C., Coleman, D. and Foad, A. 2017. Is the intention to use sport supplements a predictor of placebo and nocebo responding among athletes?
Athletes intending to use sports supplements are more likely to respond to a placebo
Hurst, P., Foad, A., Coleman, D. and Beedie, C. 2017. Athletes intending to use sports supplements are more likely to respond to a placebo. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE). https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001297
Development and validation of the sports supplements beliefs scale [Conference paper abstract]
Hurst, P., Foad, A. and Coleman, D. 2015. Development and validation of the sports supplements beliefs scale [Conference paper abstract]. Journal of Sports Sciences. 33 (Sup1), pp. s72-s74. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2015.1110330
Expectations, caffeine and pacing strategy: how positive and negative expectations can influence running performance
Hurst, P. 2014. Expectations, caffeine and pacing strategy: how positive and negative expectations can influence running performance. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 48 (A3). https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2014-094245.8
Expectancy effects on competitive 5 km time-trial performance
Hurst, P. 2013. Expectancy effects on competitive 5 km time-trial performance. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 47 (17). https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2013-093073.15
Reproducibility of outdoor 5 km running time-trial in a competitive environment
Hurst, P. 2013. Reproducibility of outdoor 5 km running time-trial in a competitive environment. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 47 (e4). https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2013-093073.14
Development and validation of the Sports Supplements Beliefs Scale
Hurst, P., Foad, A., Coleman, D. and Beedie, C. 2016. Development and validation of the Sports Supplements Beliefs Scale. Performance Enhancement & Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.peh.2016.10.001
Reliability of 5-km running performance in a competitive environment
Hurst, P. and Board, L. 2016. Reliability of 5-km running performance in a competitive environment. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/1091367X.2016.1233421
Beliefs versus reality, or beliefs as reality? The placebo effect in sport and exercise
Hurst, P., Foad, A. and Beedie, C. 2016. Beliefs versus reality, or beliefs as reality? The placebo effect in sport and exercise. in: Lane, A. (ed.) Sport and Exercise Psychology London Routledge. pp. 325-344
Capitalizing on the placebo component of treatments
Beedie, C., Foad, A. and Hurst, P. 2015. Capitalizing on the placebo component of treatments. Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR). 14 (4), pp. 284-287. https://doi.org/10.1249/JSR.0000000000000172
Influence of acute dietary nitrate supplementation over 5 km
Hurst, P., Coleman, D. and Saunders, S. 2015. Influence of acute dietary nitrate supplementation over 5 km. British Journal of Sports Medicine: International Sports Science + Sports Medicine Conference 2015 Abstracts Newcastle Upon Tyne 8–10th September 2015. 49 (Sup. 2), pp. A6-A6. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095576.17
Placebo and nocebo effects during repeat sprint performance
Hurst, P., Beedie, C., Coleman, D. and Foad, A. 2016. Placebo and nocebo effects during repeat sprint performance.
Knowledge and experience of placebo effects modifies athletes’ intentions to use sport supplements
Hurst, P., Beedie, C., Coleman, D. and Foad, A. 2016. Knowledge and experience of placebo effects modifies athletes’ intentions to use sport supplements.