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The effect of induced alkalosis and acidosis on blood lactate appearance and performance capacity during simulated rowing Brien, Donald Michael


In order to test the effect of artificially induced alkalosis and acidosis on the appearance of blood lactate and work production, six well-trained oarsmen (age= 23.8 ±2.5 wt = 82.0 ±7.5kg.) were tested on three separate occasions after ingestion of 0.3 gm/kg body wt. NH4C1 (acidosis) , NaHC03 (alkalosis) or a placebo (control). Blood was taken from a forearm vein immediately prior to exercise for determination of pH and bicarbonate (HC03). One hour following the ingestion period, subjects rowed on a stationary ergometer at a pre-determined sub-maximal rate for 4 minutes, then underwent an immediate transition to a maximal effort for 2 minutes. Blood samples from an indwelling catheter placed in the cephalic vein were taken at rest and every 30 seconds throughout the 6 minute exercise test, and every 3 minutes during a 30 minute passive recovery period. Pre-exercise blood values demonstrated significant differences (p<0.01) in pH and HC03 in all three conditions. Work outputs were unchanged in the submaximal test and in the maximal test (p>0.05), although a trend toward decreased production was evident in the acidotic condition. Analysis of exercise blood samples using ANOVA with repeated measures revealed that the linear increase in blood lactate concentration([BLA]) during control was significantly greater than acidosis (p<0.01), although [BLa] during alkalosis were consistently elevated above control there was no significant difference in the linear trend (p>0.05). During recovery, there was no significant difference in the rate of lactate disappearance amongst the three conditions. It was concluded that under this protocol artificial manipulation of the acid-base status of the blood does not significantly influence work production despite significantly reduced [BLa] during acidosis. The inability of these pH changes to alter exercise performance emphasizes the relative importance of the intracellular and the extracellular buffer systems in well trained athletes.

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