The effects of a glycogen loading regimen on acid-base status and blood lactate concentration before and after a fixed period of high intensity exercise in man

  • P. L. Greenhaff
  • M. Gleeson
  • R. J. Maughan


Six healthy male subjects exercised after an overnight fast for a fixed 3 min period at a workload equivalent to 100% of their maximal oxygen uptake (\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2 max}}} }\)) on 3 separate occasions. The first test took place after subjects had consumed a mixed diet (43±3% carbohydrate (CHO), 41±5% fat and 16±3% protein) for 3 days, and was followed 2 h later by prolonged cycling to exhaustion at 77±3%\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2 max}}} }\) to deplete muscle glycogen stores. Following this, subjects consumed a low CHO diet (4±1% CHO, 63±5% fat and 33±6% protein) for the remainder of the day and for the subsequent 2 days; on the morning of the next day a second high intensity test took place. Finally subjects followed a 3 day high CHO diet (73±7% CHO, 17±6% fat and 10±1% protein) before their last test. Acid-base status and selected metabolites were measured on arterialised-venous blood at rest prior to exercise and at intervals for 15 min following exercise. Prior to exercise, plasma pH and blood lactate concentration were higher (p<0.05) after the high CHO diet when compared with the low CHO diet. Pre-exercise plasma bicarbonate, blood PCO2 and blood base excess were all higher after the high (p<0.001,p<0.01,p<0.01 respectively) and normal (p<0.05,p<0.05,p<0.05 respectively) CHO diets when compared with the low CHO diet. During the post-exercise period there were no differences in plasma pH or blood base excess between the three experimental situations; plasma bicarbonate was higher (p<0.05) at 2 min post-exercise after the high CHO diet when compared with the low CHO diet; blood PCO2 was higher throughout the post-exercise period after the high CHO diet when compared with the low CHO diet and at 2 min post-exercise was higher after the normal CHO diet than after the low CHO diet (p<0.5). The post-exercise blood lactate concentration after the high CHO diet was at all times higher than the corresponding values recorded after the normal CHO diet and until 15 min post-exercise was significantly higher than the values recorded after the low CHO diet. The present experiment further substantiates the view that a pattern of dietary and exercise manipulation can significantly influence the acid-base status of the blood and by doing so may influence high intensity exercise performance.

Key words

High intensity exercise Dietary manipulation Acid-base status Blood lactate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. L. Greenhaff
    • 1
  • M. Gleeson
    • 1
  • R. J. Maughan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Occupational MedicineUniversity Medical SchoolAberdeenScotland, UK

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