Sports Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 827–836 | Cite as

Metabolic Consequences of Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage

  • Jason C. Tee
  • Andrew N. Bosch
  • Mike I. Lambert
Current Opinion


Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is commonly experienced following either a bout of unaccustomed physical activity or following physical activity of greater than normal duration or intensity. The mechanistic factor responsible for the initiation of EIMD is not known; however, it is hypothesised to be either mechanical or metabolic in nature. The mechanical stress hypothesis states that EIMD is the result of physical stress upon the muscle fibre. In contrast, the metabolic stress model predicts that EIMD is the result of metabolic deficiencies, possibly through the decreased action of Ca2+-adenosine triphosphatase. Irrespective of the cause of the damage, EIMD has a number of profound metabolic effects. The most notable metabolic effects of EIMD are decreased insulin sensitivity, prolonged glycogen depletion and an increase in metabolic rate both at rest and during exercise. Based on current knowledge regarding the effects that various types of damaging exercise have on muscle metabolism, a new model for the initiation of EIMD is proposed. This model states that damage initiation may be either metabolic or mechanical, or a combination of both, depending on the mode, intensity and duration of exercise and the training status of the individual.


  1. 1.
    Byrne C, Twist C, Eston R. Neuromuscular function after exercise-induced muscle damage: theoretical and applied implications. Sports Med 2004; 34: 49–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Asp S, Daugaard JR, Richter EA. Eccentric exercise decreases glucose transporter GLUT4 protein in human skeletal muscle. J Physiol 1995; 482 (Pt 3): 705–12Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Asp S, Rohde T, Richter EA. Impaired muscle glycogen resynthesis after a marathon is not caused by decreased muscle GLUT-4 content. J Appl Physiol 1997; 83: 1482–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Asp S, Daugaard JR, Kristiansen S, et al. Exercise metabolism in human skeletal muscle exposed to prior eccentric exercise. J Physiol 1998; 509 (Pt 1): 305–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Asp S, Daugaard JR, Rohde T, et al. Muscle glycogen accumulation after a marathon: roles of fibre type and pro-and macroglycogen. J Appl Physiol 1999; 86: 474–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Costill DL, Pascoe DD, Fink WJ, et al. Impaired muscle glycogen resynthesis after eccentric exercise. J Appl Physiol 1990; 69: 46–50PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Evans WJ, Meredith CN, Cannon JG, et al. Metabolic changes following eccentric exercise in trained and untrained men. J following eccentric exercise in trained and untrained men. J Appl Physiol 1986; 61: 1864–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kirwan JP, Hickner RC, Yarasheski KE, et al. Eccentric exercise induces transient insulin resistance in healthy individuals. J Appl Physiol 1992; 72: 2197–202PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nosaka K, Clarkson PM. Muscle damage following repeated bouts of high force eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995; 27: 1263–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tuominen JA, Ebeling P, Bourey R, et al. Postmarathon paradox: insulin resistance in the face of glycogen depletion. Am J Physiol 1996; 270: E336–43PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Semark A, Noakes TD, St Clair GA, et al. The effect of a prophylactic dose of flurbiprofen on muscle soreness and sprinting performance in trained subjects. J Sports Sci 1999; 17: 197–203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sorichter S, Puschendorf B, Mair J. Skeletal muscle injury induced by eccentric muscle action: muscle proteins as markers of muscle fiber injury. Exerc Immunol Rev 1999; 5: 5–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stauber WT. Eccentric action of muscles: physiology, injury and adaptation. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 1989; 17: 157–85PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Komi PV. Physiological and biomechanical correlates of muscle function: effects of muscle structure and stretch-shortening cycle on force and speed. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 1984; 12: 81–121PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    O’Reilly KP, Warhol MJ, Fielding RA, et al. Eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage impairs muscle glycogen repletion. J Appl Physiol 1987; 63: 252–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Vickers AJ. Time course of muscle soreness following different types of exercise. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2001; 2: 5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    del Aguila LF, Krishnan RK, Ulbrecht JS, et al. Muscle damage impairs insulin stimulation of IRS-1, PI 3-kinase, and Aktkinase in human skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2000; 279: E206–12PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hikida RS, Staron RS, Hagerman FC, et al. Muscle fibre necrofactorsis associated with human marathon runners. J Neurol Sci 1983; 59: 185–203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sherman WM, Costill DL, Fink WJ, et al. Effect of a 42.2-km footrace and subsequent rest or exercise on muscle glycogen and enzymes. J Appl Physiol 1983; 55: 1219–24PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sherman WM, Armstrong LE, Murray TM, et al. Effect of a 42.2-km footrace and subsequent rest or exercise on muscular strength and work capacity. J Appl Physiol 1984; 57: 1668–73PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Warhol MJ, Siegel AJ, Evans WJ, et al. Skeletal muscle injury and repair in marathon runners after competition. Am J Pathol and repair in marathon runners after competition. Am J Pathol 1985; 118: 331–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Clarkson PM, Nosaka K, Braun B. Muscle function after exercise-induced muscle damage and rapid adaptation. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1992; 24: 512–20PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Byrne C, Eston R. Maximal-intensity isometric and dynamic exercise performance after eccentric muscle actions. J Sports Sci 2002; 20: 951–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Chambers C, Noakes TD, Lambert EV, et al. Time course of recovery of vertical jump height and heart rate versus running recovery of vertical jump height and heart rate versus running speed after a 90-km foot race. J Sports Sci 1998; 16: 645–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gleeson M, Blannin AK, Zhu B, et al. Cardiorespiratory, hormonal and haematological responses to submaximal cycling monal and haematological responses to submaximal cycling performed 2 days after eccentric or concentric exercise bouts. J Sports Sci 1995; 13: 471–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gleeson M, Blannin AK, Walsh NP, et al. Effect of exercise-induced muscle damage on the blood lactate response to incremental exercise in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1998; 77: 292–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Busch WA, Stromer MH, Goll PE, et al. Ca2+-specific removal of Z lines from rabbit muscle. J Cell Biol 1972; 52: 367–81PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Armstrong RB, Warren GL, Warren JA. Mechanisms of exercise-induced muscle fibre injury. Sports Med 1991; 12: 184–207PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kuipers H. Exercise-induced muscle damage. Int J Sports Med 1994; 15: 132–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Woledge RC, Curtin NA, Homsher E. Energetic aspects of muscle contraction. Monogr Physiol Soc 1985; 41: 1–357PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bigland-Richie B, Woods JJ. Integrated EMG and O2 uptake during positive and negative work. J Physiol (Lond) 1976; 260: 267–77Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    McCully KK, Faulkner JA. Characteristics of lengthening contractions associated with injury to skeletal muscle fibres. J Appl Physiol 1986; 61: 293–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Saunders MJ, Kane MD, Todd MK. Effects of a carbohydrate protein beverage on cycling endurance and muscle damage. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2004; 36 (7): 1233–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ready SL, Seifert JG, Burke E. The effect of two sports drink formulations on muscle stress and performance [abstract]. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: S119Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Koller A, Mair J, Schobersberger W, et al. Effects of prolonged strenuous endurance exercise on plasma myosin heavy chain fragments and other muscular proteins: cycling vs running. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1998; 38 (1): 10–7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Krisanda JM, Moreland TS, Kushmerick MJ. ATP supply and demand during exercise. In: Horton ES, Terjung RL, editors. Exercise, nutrition, energy and metabolism. New York: McMillan, 1988: 27–44Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Krustrup P, Mohr M, Steensberg A, et al. Muscle and blood metabolites during a soccer game: implications for sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2006; 38 (6): 1165–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Duchen MR, Valdeolmillos M, O’Neill SC, et al. Effects of metabolic blockade on the regulation of intracellular calcium in dissociated mouse sensory neurones. J Physiol 1990; 424Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Duncan CJ. Role of calcium in triggering rapid ultrastructural damage in muscle: a study with chemically skinned fibres. J Cell Sci 1987; 87 (Pt 4): 581–94PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ludatscher RM, Hashmonai M, Monies-Chass I, et al. Progressing alterations in transient ischemia of skeletal muscles: an ultrastructural study. Acta Anat (Basel) 1981; 111: 320–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Makitie J, Teravainen H. Histochemical studies of striated muscle after temporary ischemia in the rat. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 1977; 37: 101–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Brooks GA, Fahey TD, Baldwin KM. Neural-endocrine control of metabolism: blood glucose homeostasis during exercise. In: Exercise physiology: human bioenergetics and its applications. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005: 181–209Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Goodyear LJ, Kahn BB. Exercise, glucose transport, and insulin sensitivity. Annu Rev Med 1998; 49: 235–61PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Lund S, Holman GD, Schmitz O, et al. Contraction stimulates translocation of glucose transporter GLUT4 in skeletal muscle through a mechanism distinct from that of insulin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995; 92: 5817–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Kirwan JP, del Aguila LF, Hernandez JM, et al. Regular exercise enhances insulin activation of IRS-1-associated PI3-kinase in human skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol 2000; 88: 797–803PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Kirwan JP, Bourey RE, Kohrt WM, et al. Effects of treadmill exercise to exhaustion on the insulin response to hyperglycemia in untrained men. J Appl Physiol 1991; 70: 246–50PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Steinacker JM, Lormes W, Reissnecker S, et al. New aspects of the hormone and cytokine response to training. Eur J Appl Physiol 2004; 91: 382–91PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Toft AD, Jensen LB, Bruunsgaard H, et al. Cytokine response to eccentric exercise in young and elderly humans. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2002; 283: C289–95PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pedersen BK, Hoffman-Goetz L. Exercise and the immune system: regulation, integration, and adaptation. Physiol Rev 2000; 80: 1055–81PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    del Aguila LF, Claffey KP, Kirwan JP. TNF-alpha impairs insulin signaling and insulin stimulation of glucose uptake in C2C12 muscle cells. Am J Physiol 1999; 276: E849–55PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kirwan JP, del Aguila LF. Insulin signalling, exercise and cellular integrity. Biochem Soc Trans 2003; 31: 1281–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Coppack SW. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and adipose tissue. Proc Nutr Soc 2001; 60: 349–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B. Muscle glycogen during prolonged severe exercise. Acta Physiol Scand 1967; 71: 129–39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Bosch AN, Dennis SC, Noakes TD. Influence of carbohydrate ingestion on fuel substrate turnover and oxidation during prolonged exercise. J Appl Physiol 1994; 76: 2364–72PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Kuipers H, Keizer HA, Verstappen FT, et al. Influence of a prostaglandin-inhibiting drug on muscle soreness after eccentric work. Int J Sports Med 1985; 6: 336–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Lund H, Vestergaard-Poulsen P, Kanstrup IL, et al. Isokinetic eccentric exercise as a model to induce and reproduce pathophysiological alterations related to delayed onset muscle soreness. Scand J Med Sci Sports 1998; 8: 208–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Lund H, Vestergaard-Poulsen P, Kanstrup IL, et al. The effect of passive stretching on delayed onset muscle soreness, and other detrimental effects following eccentric exercise. Scand J Med Sci Sports 1998; 8: 216–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    McCully K, Shellock FG, Bank WJ, et al. The use of nuclear magnetic resonance to evaluate muscle injury. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1992; 24: 537–42PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Walsh B, Tonkonogi M, Malm C, et al. Effect of eccentric exercise on muscle oxidative metabolism in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001; 33: 436–41PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Paddon-Jones D, Muthalib M, Jenkins D. The effects of a repeated bout of eccentric exercise on indices of muscle damage and delayed onset muscle soreness. J Sci Med Sport 2000; 3: 35–43PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    McHugh MP, Connolly DA, Eston RG, et al. Exercise-induced muscle damage and potential mechanisms for the repeated bout effect. Sports Med 1999; 27 (3): 157–70PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Fielding RA, Manfredi TJ, Ding W, et al. Acute phase response in exercise III: neutrophil and IL-1 beta accumulation in skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol 1993 Jul; 265 (1 Pt 2): R166–72PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason C. Tee
    • 1
  • Andrew N. Bosch
    • 1
  • Mike I. Lambert
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports MedicineDepartment of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, King Edward VII SchoolHoughton, JohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations