The effects of metabolic and respiratory alkalosis (MALK and RALK) on intracellular strong ion concentrations ([ion]i) and muscle to blood ion fluxes were examined at rest and during 5 min of intense, intermittent tetanic stimulation in the isolated, perfused rat hindlimb. Compared with the control (C), perfusion of resting skeletal muscle during MALK and RALK significantly increased [Cl−]i and [Na+]i, and RALK significantly lowered [K+]i; these changes, however, did not affect initial hindlimb force production. In both resting and stimulated muscle, the intracellular ion changes corresponded to appropriate perfusate to muscle ion fluxes. At rest, changes in slow-twitch soleus were greater than in fast-twitch white gastrocnemius (WG), but stimulation-induced changes in [Lac]i and [K+]i were greater in WG. At the end of stimulation [K+]i and [Mg2+]i had decreased less in MALK than in C and RALK, particularly in plantaris and WG muscles. Compared with C, the muscle to perfusate flux of Lac− increased by 37% in MALK and 27% in RALK. This was associated with significantly less Lac− accumulation in all muscles in MALK than in RALK, which, in turn, had significantly less lactate than C. Lactate efflux from contracting skeletal muscle was significantly correlated with an uptake of Cl− by muscle. It is concluded that extracellular alkalosis alters skeletal muscle intracellular ionic composition and increases Lac− efflux from skeletal muscle. In agreement with other studies, lactate release appears to occur by both ionic and molecular transport processes. Alkalosis had no apparent effect on muscle performance with this preparation.Key words: acid–base, skeletal muscle, potassium, lactate, ion transport.