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Medicina dello Sport 2003 September;56(3):153-63


language: Italian

The effects of chronic intake of mineral water high in bicarbonate content on a simulated bicycle race after an intensive training period

Faina M., De Angelis M., Leonardi L. M., Marini C., Sardella F., Di Cave P.

Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biomeccanica, Istituto di Scienza dello Sport, CONI, Roma


Aim. The use of mineral water with a natural high bicarbonate content was tested to verify its possible role in the prevention of altered acid-base balance in a group of cyclists during an intensive training period.
Methods. A simulate bicycle race was the method chosen to measure several anaerobic and mechanical parameters. A group of 16 elite cyclists (age, 30±5.1 years, V.O2max 63±1.5) used for 1 week, with crossover between the 2 subgroups, a mineral water rich in bicarbonates (Sangemini,B) and a mineral water with normal bicarbonate content (N). After each week of hydration, with identical daily training of both groups, the subjects underwent cycle ergometry testing that comprised 6 maximum sprints lasting 30 s performed between 10 min of intensive cycling at the anaerobic threshold.
Results. The base-line pH was found to be significantly higher after the intake of mineral water B (p=0.03). Lactate was lower after intake of mineral water B, with a progressively greater difference with each sprint both for mean values (p=0.000) and for peak values (p=0.04). The decrease in the ratio of mean to peak lactate concentration was more marked for water N (p=0.021). In addition to the recovery of base-line buffer concentration with water B, lactate concentrations measured during sprint cycling were lower, while maintaining the developed mechanical power. However, the reasons for these results are not clear.
Conclusion. Water B was found to maintain the acid-base balance during a period of intensive training and to provide a better relation between produced power and blood lactate levels.

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