Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 336, Issue 3, pp 225–235 | Cite as

The effect of O2 breathing on maximal aerobic power

  • R. Margaria
  • E. Camporesi
  • P. Aghemo
  • G. Sassi


Time of performance, blood lactic acid concentration (L.A.), heart rate (H.R.) and maximal oxygen consumption (\(\dot V_{O_2 }^{\max } \)) were measured during air and oxygen breathin in 11 subjects performing a supramaximal exercise with an O2 requirement of 70 to 80 ml/kg·min to exhaustion. In addition the subjects were tested for maximal aerobic power with an indirect method. In one subject the rate of lactic acid increase in blood was also measured.

The\(\dot V_{O_2 }^{\max } \) measured with both the direct and the indirect method appears to be about 8% higher when breathing pure oxygen; lactic acid production rate decreases correspondingly. Maximal H.R. and maximal L.A. concentration were found to be the same.

In submaximal exercise steady state H.R. is lower by about 8–9 beats/min when breathing oxygen. Also when breathing oxygen H.R. is a linear function of the work load.

From experimental data obtained in subjects of different\(\dot V_{O_2 }^{\max } \), breathing both air or O2, the energy equivalent of L.A. could be calculated as amounting to about 47 ml of O2 or 235 cal per g of L.A. produced.

Key words

Oxygen Breathing, Effect on Exercise Muscular Power, Maximal Aerobic Lactic Acid, Significance in Muscular Exercise 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Margaria
    • 1
  • E. Camporesi
    • 1
  • P. Aghemo
    • 1
  • G. Sassi
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Fisiologia UmanaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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