Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 367, Issue 2, pp 143–149

Lactate content and pH in muscle samples obtained after dynamic exercise


  • K. Sahlin
    • Department of Rheumatological and Metabolic ResearchS:t Eriks sjukhus
  • R. C. Harris
    • Department of Rheumatological and Metabolic ResearchS:t Eriks sjukhus
  • B. Nylind
    • Military Medical Examination CenterKarolinska sjukhuset
  • E. Hultman
    • Department of Clinical ChemistrySerafimerlasarettet

DOI: 10.1007/BF00585150

Cite this article as:
Sahlin, K., Harris, R.C., Nylind, B. et al. Pflugers Arch. (1976) 367: 143. doi:10.1007/BF00585150


Analyzes were made on muscle samples taken from the lateral part of the m. quadriceps femoris of man (lactate, pyruvate, and pH) on venous blood (lactate, pyruvate) and on capillary blood (pH). Samples were taken at rest, immediately after termination of dynamic exercise and during 20 min recovery from exhaustive dynamic exercise.

Muscle pH decreased from 7.08 at rest to 6.60 at exhaustion. Decrease in muscle pH was linearly related to muscle content of lactate + pyruvate. The relationship was slightly different from what has been obtained after isometric exercise and this difference was ascribed to acid-base exchange with the blood during dynamic exercise.

Lactate content was highly elevated in muscle after exercise and the concentration was 2–3 times higher than in blood. Pyruvate content was, however, only slightly higher than that at rest. During recovery lactate content of muscle decreased exponentially with respect to time, whereas pyruvate content increased. The half-time of lactate decrease was 9.5 min. From the lactate dehydrogenase equilibrium relative values on NADH/NAD ratio could be calculated. It was found that NADH/NAD was highly increased after exercise and that it had not returned to the basal value after 20 min recovery.

Key words

Hydrogen ionLactatePyruvateExertionMuscleBloodManRecovery
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© Springer-Verlag 1976