Measurements of blood lactate concentration in performance and determining factors


Please find below an introduction to the article entitled “Measurements of blood lactate concentration in performance and determining factors”, which was written in Spanish under the title “Mediciones de concentración del lactato en sangre en rendimiento y factores determinantes”. This article, written by Luis F. Castro, was published in, Digital Magazine. Buenos Aires, Year 9 – No. 66 – November 2003

At present, exercise practice, in all its recreational or health levels, sport competitive, is in need to identify the intensity levels at which it is executed in order to obtain a minimum of adaptation to improve the health or maximum efficiency in a specific sporting discipline. For this purpose different methodologies are used, which involve both performance and physiological criteria.

Amongst the physiological criteria we can find the heart rate, the rate of gas exchange (VO2max) and the blood lactate concentration, which will be discussed in this review.

Determining the blood lactic acid levels has been reported to be one of the “objective” means to evaluate the intensity of the training stimulus (Brooks, Fahey, White and Baldwin 1999), which provides an indirect way to obtain information on the intensity of the effort being made by the working muscle.

The blood lactate responses to exercise have been used to evaluate the aerobic capacity of sedentary and active individuals and trained athletes (Denadai, Greco and Teixeira 2000), for being a metabolic type parameter, and a residue of the transformation of nutrients into energy, which is useable in all people regardless of the level or experience thereof.

Blood lactate concentration is a reasonable parameter to estimate the workload intensity during training (Mader, 1991), which helps establish individually and objectively the exercise intensity at which we want to work.

It is paramount to know if the athlete is above or below the training requirements, as it is very common to find those who exceed and those who, on the contrary, don´t reach the minimum level. In an attempt to understand the physiological factors that determine athletic performance, much of the research has focused on the identification of an “anaerobic or lactate” threshold or intensity level (Smith, Norris and Hogg 2002); however, it has not been fully clarified how to use this information on a practical level.

The aim of this review is to present the methods of measuring exercise intensity through blood lactate concentration, and the factors that may determine the objectivity of the measurement.”


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Mediciones de concentración del lactato en sangre en rendimiento y factores determinantes