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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 113, Issue 11, pp 2769–2779 | Cite as

Changes in phosphocreatine concentration of skeletal muscle during high-intensity intermittent exercise in children and adults

  • J. KappensteinEmail author
  • A. Ferrauti
  • B. Runkel
  • J. Fernandez-Fernandez
  • K. Müller
  • J. Zange
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study was to test the hypotheses that a greater oxidative capacity in children results in a lower phosphocreatine (PCr) depletion, a faster PCr resynthesis and a lower muscle acidification during high-intensity intermittent exercise compared to adults.

Methods

Sixteen children (9.4 ± 0.5 years) and 16 adults (26.1 ± 0.3 years) completed a protocol consisting of a dynamic plantar flexion (10 bouts of 30-s exercise at 25 % of one repetition maximum separated by 20-s recovery), followed by 10 min of passive recovery. Changes of PCr, ATP, inorganic phosphate, and phosphomonoesters were measured by means of 31Phosphorous-magnetic resonance spectroscopy during and post-exercise.

Results

Average PCr (percentage of [PCr] at initial rest (%[PCr]i)) at the end of the exercise (adults 17 ± 12 %[PCr]i, children 38 ± 17 %[PCr]i, P < 0.01) and recovery periods (adults 37 ± 14 %[PCr]i, children 57 ± 17 %[PCr]i, P < 0.01) was significantly lower in adults compared to children, induced by a stronger PCr decrease during the first exercise interval (adults −73 ± 10 %[PCr]i, children −55 ± 15 %[PCr]i, P < 0.01). End-exercise pH was significantly higher in children compared to adults (children 6.90 + 0.20, −0.14; adults 6.67 + 0.23, −0.15, P < 0.05).

Conclusions

From our results we suggest relatively higher rates of oxidative ATP formation in children’s muscle for covering the ATP demand of high-intensity intermittent exercise compared to adults, enabling children to begin each exercise interval with significantly higher PCr concentrations and leading to an overall lower muscle acidification.

Keywords

31P-MRS Intramuscular pH Maturation Muscle metabolism Recovery 

Abbreviations

FTI

Force–time integral

MR

Magnetic resonance

pH

Intracellular pH

Pi

Inorganic phosphate

PCr

Phosphocreatine

PP

Peak power output

PME

Phosphomonoesters

ROM

Range of motion

SD

Standard deviation

τ

Time constant

W

Watts

WAnT

Wingate anaerobic test

W/kg mm

Watts per kilogram muscle mass

1RM

One repetition maximum

31P-MRS

31Phosphorous-magnetic resonance spectroscopy

%[PCri]

Percent of PCr at initial rest

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kappenstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Ferrauti
    • 1
  • B. Runkel
    • 2
  • J. Fernandez-Fernandez
    • 1
  • K. Müller
    • 3
  • J. Zange
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Training and Exercise Science, Faculty of Sport ScienceRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of Sports MedicineUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Aerospace MedicineGerman Aerospace Center DLRCologneGermany
  4. 4.Medical FacultyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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