The relationship between lactic acid and work load: a measure for endurance capacity or an indicator of carbohydrate deficiency?

  • N. Maassen
  • M. W. Busse
Article

Summary

The influence of low and high carbohydrate diets on the relationship between blood lactate concentration ([Lac]) and work load (WL) in incremental exercise tests (cycle ergometer) and endurance tests was evaluated in trained subjects. The relationship between relative work load (WLrel) and [Lac] in arterialized blood was compared in untrained subjects (UT) and trained male athletes (TR) after 2 days without training while consuming a high carbohydrate diet (HCD). In both groups [Lac] of 2 mmol·l−1 was reached at about 60% [(mean±SD) UT 57.7%±6%, TR 62.7%±3.8%] and 4 mmol·l−1 at about 75% (UT 75.2%±3.6%, TR 77.8±2.2) of the maximal work load (WLmax). In eight cyclists the relationship between [Lac] and WL was not influenced by a 13-day training camp; however, heart rate was lower after the training camp. During their normal training programme, trained subjects had high relative work loads at their [Lac] thresholds, but after an HCD combined with an interruption of the training of 3 days, the relationship between [Lac] and WLrel was the same as in UT. In six TR a low carbohydrate diet (LCD) combined with training led to high absolute (WLabs) and WLrel at [Lac] of 2 and 4 mmol·l−1; an HCD combined with 3 days without training led to low WLabs and WLrel at the same [Lac] and to higher WLmax. In spite of the apparently lower endurance capacities TR were able to work significantly longer after HCD than after LCD (23±10.5 min and 49±16.2 min, respectively) at 65% of their WLmax. The variability of the relationship between [Lac] and WL following the dietary regimes leads to the conclusion that the “typical” [Lac] versus WL curve of endurance TR may result from a permanent glycogen deficiency.

Key words

Diet Endurance capacity Glycogen Lactate Threshold 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Åstrand P, Rohdahl K (1977) Textbook of work physiology. McGraw-Hill, DüsseldorfGoogle Scholar
  2. Aunola S, Rusko H (1984) Reproducibility of aerobic and anaerobic threshold in 20–50 year old men. Eur J Appl Physiol 53:260–266Google Scholar
  3. Beaver WL, Wasserman K, Whipp BJ (1985) Improved detection of lactate threshold during exercise using a log-log transformation. J Appl Physiol 59:1936–1940Google Scholar
  4. Bergstroem J, Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B (1967) Diet, muscle glycogen and physical performance. Acta Physiol Scand 71:140–150Google Scholar
  5. Bonen A, Ness GW, Belcastro AN, Kirby RL (1985) Mild exercise impedes glycogen repletion in muscle. J Appl Physiol 58:1622–1629Google Scholar
  6. Braumann KM, Böning D, Trost F (1982) Bohr effect and slope of the oxygen dissociation curve after physical training. J Appl Physiol 52:1524–1529Google Scholar
  7. Busse MW, Maassen N (1987) Ventilation and plasma potassium concentration during exercise. Pflügers Arch 408:S16Google Scholar
  8. Busse MW, Maassen N (1989) Effect of blood acidosis on plasma potassium concentration during and after exercise load. Med Sci Sports Exerc (in press)Google Scholar
  9. Causin GW, Braumann KM (1987) Erweiterte Möglichkeit der Leistungsdiagnostik im Radrennsport. In: Rieckert H (ed) Sportmedizin-Kursbestimmung. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 618–621Google Scholar
  10. Connett RJ, Gayeski TEJ, Honig CR (1983) Lactate production in a pure red muscle in absence of anoxia: mechanism and significance. Adv Exp Med Biol 159:327–335Google Scholar
  11. Connett RJ, Gayeski TEJ, Honig CR (1984) Lactate accumulation in fully aerobic, working, dog gracilis muscle. Am J Physiol 246 (Heart Circ Physiol 15):H120-H128Google Scholar
  12. Connett RJ, Gayeski TEJ, Honig CR (1985) Energy sources in fully aerobic rest-work transitions: a new role for glycolysis. Am J Physiol 248 (Heart Circ Physiol 17):H922-H929Google Scholar
  13. Costill DL, Miller JM (1980) Nutrition for endurance sport: carbohydrate and fluid balance. Int J Sports Med 1:2–14Google Scholar
  14. Costill DL, Thomason H, Roberts E (1973) Fractional utilization of the aerobic capacity during distance running. Med Sci Sports 5:248–252Google Scholar
  15. Davis JA (1985) Anaerobic threshold: review of the concept and directions for future research. Med Sci Sports Exerc 17:6–18Google Scholar
  16. Donovan CM, Brooks GA (1983) Endurance training affects lactate clearance, not lactate production. Am J Physiol 244 (Endocrinol Metab 7):E83-E92Google Scholar
  17. Gollnick PD, Bayly WM, Hodgeson DR (1986) Exercise intensity, training, diet, and lactate concentration in muscle and blood. Med Sci Sports Exerc 18:334–340Google Scholar
  18. Hagberg JM, Coyle EF, Carroll JE, Miller JM, Martin WH, Brooke MH (1982) Exercise hyperventilation in patients with McArdle's disease. J Appl Physiol 52:991–994Google Scholar
  19. Heck H, Mader A, Hess G, Mück S, Müller R, Hollmann W (1985) Justification of the 4 mmol/l lactate threshold. Int J Sports Med 6:117–130Google Scholar
  20. Heigenhauser GJF, Sutton JR, Jones NL (1983) Effect of glycogen depletion on the ventilatory response to exercise. J Appl Physiol 54:470–474Google Scholar
  21. Helyar R, Green H, Symons S, Burnett M, Farrance B (1988) Are peripheral enzymatic adaptations essential for training induced reductions in blood lactate? Can J Sports Sci 13:16pGoogle Scholar
  22. Hermansen L, Stensvold I (1972) Production and removal of lactate during exercise in man. Acta Physiol Scand 86:191–201Google Scholar
  23. Hughes EF, Turner SC, Brooks GA (1982) Effects of glycogen depletion and pedaling speed on “anaerobic threshold”. J Appl Physiol 52:1598–1607Google Scholar
  24. Hultman E (1967) Studies on muscle metabolism of glycogen and active phosphate in man with special reference to exercise and diet. Scand J Clin Lab Invest [Suppl 94] 19:19–30Google Scholar
  25. Ivy JL, Costill DL, Handel PJ van, Essig DA, Lower RW (1981) Alteration in the lactate threshold with changes in substrate availability. Int J Sports Med 2:139–142Google Scholar
  26. Jacobs I (1981) Lactate, muscle glycogen and exercise performance in man. Acta Physiol Scand 495:3–35Google Scholar
  27. Jacobs I (1986) Blood lactate. Implications for training and sports performance. Sports Med 3:10–25Google Scholar
  28. Kindermann W (1985) Laufbandergometrie zur Leistungsdiagnostik im Spitzensport. In: Franz I-W, Mellerowicz H, Noack W (eds) Prävention und Rehabilitation in der technischen Umwelt. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 68–80Google Scholar
  29. Klausen K, Sjøgaard G (1980) Glycogen stores and lactate accumulation in skeletal muscle of man during intense bicycle exercise. Scand J Sports Sci 2:7–12Google Scholar
  30. Mader A, Heck H (1986) Theory of the metabolic origin of “anaerobic threshold”. Int J Sports Med 7:45–65Google Scholar
  31. Neary PJ, MacDougall JD, Bachus R, Wenger HA (1985) The relationship between lactate and ventilatory thresholds: coincidental or cause and effect? Eur J Appl Physiol 54:104–108Google Scholar
  32. Piehl K (1974) Time course for refilling of glycogen stores in human muscle fibres following exercise-induced glycogen depletion. Acta Physiol Scand 90:297–302Google Scholar
  33. Quirion A, Brisson GR, Laurencelle L, DeCarufel D, Audet A, Dulac S, Ledoux M, Vogelaere P (1988) Lactate threshold and onset of blood lactate accumulation during incremental exercise after dietary modifications. Eur J Appl Physiol 57:192–197Google Scholar
  34. Rennie MJ, Winder WW, Holloszy JO (1976) A sparing effect of increased plasma fatty acids on muscle and liver glycogen content in the exercising rat. Biochem J 156:647–655Google Scholar
  35. Saltin B (1973) Metabolic fundamentals in exercise. Med Sci Sports 5:137–146Google Scholar
  36. Stainsby WN (1986) Biochemical and physiological bases for lactate production. Med Sci Sports Exerc 18:341–343Google Scholar
  37. Stegmann H, Kindermann W, Schnabel A (1981) Lactate kinetics and individual anaerobic threshold. Int J Sports Med 2:160–165Google Scholar
  38. Tibes U (1977) Reflex inputs to the cardiovascular and respiratory centers from dynamically working canine muscle — some evidence for involvement of group III or IV nerve fibres. Circ Res 41:332–341Google Scholar
  39. Wassermann K (1986) The anaerobic threshold: definition, physiological significance and identification. Adv Cardiol 35:1–23Google Scholar
  40. Yoshida T (1984a) Effect of dietary modifications on lactate threshold and onset of blood lactate accumulation during incremental exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 53:200–205Google Scholar
  41. Yoshida T (1984b) Effect of exercise duration during incremental exercise on the determination of anaerobic threshold and the onset of blood lactate accumulation. Eur J Appl Physiol 53:196–199Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Maassen
    • 1
  • M. W. Busse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sports and Exercise PhysiologyMedizinische Hochschule HannoverHannover 61Federal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations