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Relationship Of Contraction Capacity To Metabolic Changes During Recovery From A Fatiguing Contraction

K. Sahlin, J. M. Ren

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The relationship between changes in muscle metabolites and the contraction capacity was investigated in humans. Subjects (n = 13) contracted (knee extension) at a target force of 66% of the maximal voluntary contraction force (MVC) to fatigue, and the recovery in MVC and endurance (time to fatigue) were measured. Force recovered rapidly [half-time (t 1/2) less than 15 s] and after 2 min of recovery was not significantly different (P greater than 0.05) from the precontraction value. Endurance recovered more slowly (t 1/2 approximately 1.2 min) and was still significantly depressed after 2 and 4 min of recovery (P less than 0.05). In separate experiments (n = 10) muscle biopsy specimens were taken from the quadriceps femoris muscle before and after two successive contractions to fatigue at 66% of MVC with a recovery period of 2 or 4 min in between. The muscle content of high-energy phosphates and lactate was similar at fatigue after both contractions, whereas glucose 6-phosphate was lower after the second contraction (P less than 0.05). During recovery, muscle lactate decreased and was 74 and 43% of the value at fatigue after an elapsed period of 2 and 4 min, respectively. The decline in H+ due to lactate disappearance is balanced, however, by a release of H+ due to resynthesis of phosphocreatine, and after 2 min of recovery calculated muscle pH was found to remain at a low level similar to that at fatigue.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)