The purpose of this study was to determine the pattern of blood lactate and ammonium ion (NH+4) accumulation during graded exercise in humans. Six adult volunteers performed a maximum O2 uptake (VO2 max) test on a bicycle ergometer. Blood samples were collected each minute of the test. Both blood lactate (r = 0.92) and NH4+ (r = 0.70) increased exponentially in relation to increased work. However, closer examination of individual curves revealed that both metabolites remained near resting levels during mild exercise (less than 40% VO2 max) and then demonstrated abrupt upward break points at increased work loads (greater than 50% VO2 max). There was a significant linear relationship (r = 0.96) between the work load at which the lactate break point (LBP) and NH4+ break point (ABP) occurred in each subject. In addition, there was a significant linear relationship (r = 0.82) between the blood concentrations of NH4+ and lactate during exercise. The results suggest a connection between NH4+ production and glycolytic energy metabolism during exercise. Several possible explanations are offered; however, further work at the cellular level is needed before the exact relationship between NH4+ and lactate can be determined.
- Copyright © 1984 the American Physiological Society