Blood Lactate

Blood Lactate

Blood Lactate is a by-product of anaerobic metabolism where various substrates (known as hydrogen ion and pyruvic acid) remain in the mitochondria of the cell and accumulate. As the hydronium ion accumulates, the acidity of the cells increases and in order to counter the effect, pyruvic acid and the hydronium reacts with each other forming lactic acid. In order to reduce acidic activity, lactate enters our blood stream. This whole chemical process alters the pH levels of the cells which results in very sore and stiff muscles.

Why Blood Lactate?

Measurement of blood lactate response in conjunction with HR, O2 consumption and intensity should form a routine part of any physiological assessment. Measurement of blood lactate allows

  1. Athletes (recreational or elite), coaches, strength and conditioning coaches determine training adaptations
  2. Results to be correlated with endurance performance
  3. Optimal training stimuli to be developed preventing overreaching and overtraining (even under training)

Like most physiological tests conducted, blood lactate testing is best when conducted on a reoccurring model. This means, that testing results from past tests are analyzed to interpret shifts in the lactate curves. Shifts can determine appropriateness of training programs, improvements in physiological parameters and impact with performance.

What do I do with the results?

Results will be provided for all participants and will be based on clinical data collected during the consultation. Reports will indicate target threshold zones based on individualized lactate thresholds and maximal lactate steady state assessment. Zones will be divided into five training zones as it relates to lactate levels, percentage of Heart Rate Reserve (HRR), critical duration and intensity.

Blood Lactate Vs Vo2 Testing?

Blood Lactate has grown in popularity over the past 20 years however in the past exercise physiology training studies used VO2 (changes in maximal oxygen consumption) to indicate changes in capacity. Like Blood Lactate VO2 is measured against HR, duration and intensities (WATTS, pace etc). New research is now showing that blood lactate response to training adapts to a greater degree than VO2 and have been shown to be more sensitive with training adaptations. For athletes where VO2 may not alter significantly measures need to be put in place to indicate if physiological changes and/or adaptions are occurring.  Studies have shown that blood lactate measurements will and can increase with training beyond where VO2max fails to increase.

What Information Will I need to Provide?

Once you have made a booking a pre history form will be sent to you via email. This needs to be completed and bought with you on the day. Most tests will be conducted on 10km race paces. If you don’t know your 10km race time please discuss this when making a booking.

What Measurements will be taken?

The following measurements will be taken; blood lactate using finger prick method, HR using HR monitor, weight & height. These measurements will be taken over 4-5 stages.  Expired gas, Vo2, VCO2 and respiratory exchange ratios will not be measured.  This is only measured in VO2 incremental exhaustion tests.

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