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Alterations in aerobic-anaerobic proportions of metabolism during work in heat

Summary

With a view to investigating the aerobic and anaerobic proportions of oxygen supply during different grades of muscular activity in varying thermal stress, studies have been conducted on six young healthy Indians naturally acclimatized to heat. The subjects were given submaximal exercises of 400, 500, and 600 kgm/min (equivalent to 65.40, 81.75, and 98.10 W) for 6 min on a bicycle ergometer in three different simulated conditions, i.e., comfortable, hot humid, and very hot humid. Their O2 consumption (VO2), pulmonary ventilation (V E) and heart rate (HR) were measured during rest and throughout the exercise period (6 min) and for 30 min post exercise. Blood lactate level (LA) was measured during rest and recovery. From these, the total O2 cost with aerobic and anaerobic proportions were calculated. Results indicated a significant increase in the total O2 cost for each exercise with increasing thermal stress, along with a significant increase in the anaerobic fraction and a decrease in the aerobic fraction. The increase in anaerobic contribution to the energy supply processes was further confirmed by a significant increase in relative O2 debt (l/kg) and in blood lactate level at each work load. Thus, a highly significant correlation (P<0.001) was found between O2 debt contracted and increase in thermal stress. A significant fall in VO2 max was also observed in hot humid and very hot humid conditions as against comfortable temperature, with no change in HR max and V E max.

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Correspondence to G. P. Dimri.

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Dimri, G.P., Malhotra, M.S., Sen Gupta, J. et al. Alterations in aerobic-anaerobic proportions of metabolism during work in heat. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 45, 43–50 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00421200

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Key words

  • Metabolic cost of work
  • Aerobic-anaerobic proportions
  • Oxygen supply
  • Thermal stress