About this Research Topic
For nearly four decades, research has demonstrated that disturbances in acid-base balance can inhibit exercise capacity and performance. The high turnover rate of skeletal muscle ATP observed during prolonged intense exercise leads to excessive increases in hydrogen ion production (e.g. pH), a state of metabolic acidosis and ultimately a decline in exercise performance. To attenuate the increased levels of metabolic stress, the body has several endogenously linked systems to maintain pH homeostasis, most notably intracellular and extracellular buffers. However, these systems can be quickly overwhelmed by the accumulation of hydrogen ions during extended or prolonged periods of intense exercise. Thus, supplementing the endogenous buffering systems may be a feasible way to improve control of systemic pH changes and maintain exercise performance.
Several practical strategies exist to improve buffering capacity, including training and nutritional supplementation. Nutritional supplements include, but are not limited to, beta-alanine, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, sodium lactate and calcium lactate. Emerging mechanistic evidence coupled with refined application methodologies is stimulating novel research in this area, and further generating interest from both the scientific and sport science support communities.
The aim of this Research Topic, therefore, is to provide a peer-reviewed publication platform to submit mechanistic and applied investigations into the effects of nutritional supplementation and training methods to increase buffering capacity with the goal of improving our understanding on the importance of managing acid-base balance to improve exercise capacity and performance. We hope this Research Topic will provide a unique opportunity to support a wide range of buffering-related research, including original articles and review papers, that extends our mechanistic and applied understanding of buffer manipulation to support exercise performance.
Keywords: Acid-base balance, Buffering, Nutritional supplementation, Exercise performance
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