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This study investigated the effects of two separate doses of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) on 4 km time trial (TT) cycling performance and post-exercise acid base balance recovery in hypoxia. Fourteen club-level cyclists completed four cycling TT’s, followed by a 40 min passive recovery in normobaric hypoxic conditions (FiO2 = 14.5%) following one of either: two doses of NaHCO3 (0.2−1 BM; SBC2, or 0.3−1 BM; SBC3), a taste-matched placebo (0.07−1 BM sodium chloride; PLA), or a control trial in a double-blind, randomized, repeated-measures and crossover design study. Compared to PLA, TT performance was improved following SBC2 (p = 0.04, g = 0.16, very likely beneficial), but was improved to a greater extent following SBC3 (p = 0.01, g = 0.24, very likely beneficial). Furthermore, a likely benefit of ingesting SBC3 over SBC2 was observed (p = 0.13, g = 0.10), although there was a large inter-individual variation. Both SBC treatments achieved full recovery within 40 min, which was not observed in either PLA or CON following the TT. In conclusion, NaHCO3 improves 4 km TT performance and acid base balance recovery in acute moderate hypoxic conditions, however the optimal dose warrants an individual approach.

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