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Elevated arterial lactate delays recovery of intracellular muscle pH after exercise

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PURPOSE: We evaluated muscle proton elimination following similar exercise in the same muscle group following two exercise modalities.

METHODS: Seven rowers performed handgrip or rowing exercise for ~ 5 min. The intracellular response of the wrist flexor muscles was evaluated by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, while arterial and venous forearm blood was collected.

RESULTS: Rowing and handgrip reduced intracellular pH to 6.3 ± 0.2 and 6.5 ± 0.1, arterial pH to 7.09 ± 0.03 and 7.40 ± 0.03 and venous pH to 6.95 ± 0.06 and 7.20 ± 0.04 (P < 0.05), respectively. Arterial and venous lactate increased to 17.5 ± 1.6 and 20.0 ± 1.6 mM after rowing while only to 2.6 ± 0.8 and 6.8 ± 0.8 mM after handgrip exercise. Arterio-venous concentration difference of bicarbonate and phosphocreatine recovery kinetics (T50% rowing 1.5 ± 0.7 min; handgrip 1.4 ± 1.0 min) was similar following the two exercise modalities. Yet, intramuscular pH recovery in the forearm flexor muscles was 3.5-fold slower after rowing than after handgrip exercise (T50% rowing of 2 ± 0.1 vs. 7 ± 0.3 min for handgrip).

CONCLUSION: Rowing delays intracellular-pH recovery compared with handgrip exercise most likely because rowing, as opposed to handgrip exercise, increases systemic lactate concentration. Thus the intra-to-extra-cellular lactate gradient is small after rowing. Since this lactate gradient is the main driving force for intracellular lactate removal in muscle and, since pHi normalization is closely related to intracellular lactate removal, rowing results in a slower pHi recovery compared to handgrip exercise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2429-2434
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

    Research areas

  • Adult, Exercise/physiology, Forearm/blood supply, Hand Strength/physiology, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Lactic Acid/blood, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Muscle Contraction/physiology, Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism, Regional Blood Flow/physiology, Young Adult

ID: 56578932