Efficacy of sodium bicarbonate ingestion strategies for protecting blinding

Gurton, William H and Matta, Guilherme G and Gough, Lewis A. and Hurst, Philip (2022) Efficacy of sodium bicarbonate ingestion strategies for protecting blinding. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6327

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Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO) is a widely researched ergogenic aid, but the optimal blinding strategy during randomised placebo-controlled trials is unknown. In this multi-study project, we aimed to determine the most efficacious ingestion strategy for blinding NaHCO research. During study one, 16 physically active adults tasted 0.3 g kg body mass NaHCO or 0.03 g kg body mass sodium chloride placebo treatments given in different flavour (orange, blackcurrant) and temperature (chilled, room temperature) solutions. They were required to guess which treatment they had received. During study two, 12 recreational athletes performed time-to-exhaustion (TTE) cycling trials (familiarisation, four experimental). Using a randomised, double-blind design, participants consumed 0.3 g kg body mass NaHCO or a placebo in 5 mL kg body mass chilled orange squash/water solutions or capsules and indicated what they believed they had received immediately after consumption, pre-TTE and post-TTE. In study one, NaHCO prepared in chilled orange squash resulted in the most unsure ratings (44%). In study two, giving NaHCO in capsules resulted in more unsure ratings than in solution after consumption (92 vs 33%), pre-TTE (67 vs. 17%) and post-TTE (50 vs. 17%). Administering NaHCO in capsules was the most efficacious blinding strategy which provides important implications for researchers conducting randomised placebo-controlled trials.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-022-05031-0
11 August 2022Accepted
2 September 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dietary supplements, Double-blind, Sports nutrition, Research methods
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
Depositing User: Lewis Gough
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 10:45
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2022 10:45
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13597

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