Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 499 - 507

Research article
Warming-Up Affects Performance and Lactate Distribution between Plasma and Red Blood Cells
Patrick Wahl1,2,3, , Christoph Zinner1, Zengyuan Yue1, Wilhelm Bloch2,3, Joachim Mester1,3
Author Information
1 Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics,
2 Department of Molecular and Cellular Sport Medicine, Institute of Cardiovascular Research and Sport Medicine,
3 The German Research Center of Elite Sport, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany

Patrick Wahl
✉ Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 06-04-2010
Accepted: 26-07-2010
Published (online): 01-09-2010
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Warming-up (WU) is a widely used preparation for training and competition. However, little is known about the potential mechanisms of WU on performance and on the lactate distribution in the blood compartment. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether different WU procedures affect performance and lactate distribution between plasma and red blood cells (RBCs) after maximal exercise. At three different occasions eleven subjects performed one 30 s maximal effort exercise on a cycle ergometer. Before each exercise, subjects warmed up at different intensities: 1. no WU (NWU); 2. extensive WU (EWU); 3. intensive WU (IWU). Blood samples were taken under resting conditions, after WU, and in 1 minute intervals during recovery to determine lactate concentrations [LA] in whole blood ([LA]WB), plasma ([LA]plasma) and erythrocytes ([LA]RBC). Mean power output was +58 Watt (EWU) and +60 Watt (IWU) higher compared to NWU. For each WU condition [LA]plasma and [LA]RBC differed significantly at any time point, showing greater [LA]plasma compared to [LA]RBC. The maximal effort exercise caused a rapid decrease of the [LA]RBC/[LA]plasma ratio. [LA]RBC reached the peak 3-5 minutes later than [LA]plasma depending on the WU condition. The initial increments in [LA]RBC were 10-16% lower after IWU compared to NWU and EWU. The lower increment of [LA]RBC after IWU might be due to a “higher preloading” with lactate before exercise, causing a smaller initial [LA] gradient between plasma and RBCs. It seems that the influx decreases with increasing intracellular [LA]. Another possibility one could speculate about is, that the extracellular increase in [LA] inhibits the outflux of lactate produced by the RBC itself. This inhibited export of lactate from RBCs may lead to an intracellular lactate accumulation. But the relatively fast increase in [LA]RBC and other investigations partly contradicts this possibility.

Key words: Lactate concentration, blood, performance enhancement, anaerobic exercise, cycling, competition preparation

           Key Points
  • Warm-up significantly improves performance during 30 s maximal effort exercise.
  • No differences in performance were found between extensive and intensive warm-up.
  • Warm-up and maximal effort exercise affects the lactate distribution between plasma and RBC.
  • Lactate influx into RBC decreases with increasing intracellular lactate concentrations.
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