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Lactate, muscle glycogen and exercise performance in man


, : Lactate, muscle glycogen and exercise performance in man. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. Supplementum 495: 1-35

The effects of changes in glycogen concentrations, induced by either exercise or a combination of exercise and diet, on lactate accumulation in human skeletal muscle during a 1 min high intensity muscle fatigue test were investigated. High and similar lactate concentrations were observed over a wide range of glycogen levels. Lactate was significantly reduced when glycogen levels were < 40 mmol glucosyl units kg-1. When acute glycogen depletion in both main groups of muscle fibers was induced by exercise, subsequent muscle strength and muscle power were impaired. Subjects with muscle rich in FT [fast twitch] fibers demonstrated a greater impairment than those rich in ST [slow twitch] fibers. If exercise-induced glycogen depletion was limited to the ST muscle fiber population, no significant impairment of muscle force was observed while torgue decline during repeated maximal contractions was increased, i.e., the muscle was more susceptible to fatigue. Endurance exercise capacity was closely related to the exercise intensity at which a blood lactate accumulation of 4 mmol 1-1 occurred and to the ability to exercise at an intensity close to that intensity during a competition. These properties were in turn related to the percentage of ST muscle fibers, capillary density, muscle enzyme activities and training volume. Skeletal muscle LPL [lipoprotein lipase] activity was positively related to percent of ST fiber frequency in the normal state. A fat and protein rich diet during 3-4 days was associated with a 21% increase in LPL activity while a carbohydrate rich diet during 4 days was associated with a 51% decrease in LPL activity. The extent of the decrease in LPL activity after the carbohydrate-rich diet was positively related to % ST muscle fiber and to the extent of the increase in glycogen concentration.

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PMID: 6950657


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