VO2/power output relationship and the slow component of oxygen uptake kinetics during cycling at different pedaling rates: relationship to venous lactate accumulation and blood acid-base balance.Physiol Res. 1998; 47(6):427-38.PR
In this experiment we studied the effect of different pedalling rates during cycling at a constant power output (PO) 132+/-31 W (mean+/-S.D.), corresponding to 50% VO2 max, on the oxygen uptake and the magnitude of the slow component of VO2 kinetics in humans. The PO corresponded to 50% of VO2 max, established during incremental cycling at a pedalling rate of 70 rev.min(-1). Six healthy men aged 22.2+/-2.0 years with VO2 max 3.89+/-0.92 l.min(-1), performed on separate days constant PO cycling exercise lasting 6 min at pedalling rates 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 rev.min(-1), in random order. Antecubital blood samples for plasma lactate [La]pl and blood acid-base balance variables were taken at 1 min intervals. Oxygen uptake was determined breath-by-breath. The total net oxygen consumed throughout the 6 min cycling period at pedalling rates of 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 rev.min(-1) amounted to 7.727+/-1.197, 7.705+/-1.548, 8.679+/-1.262, 9.945+/-1.435 and 13.720+/-1.862 l, respectively for each pedalling rate. The VO2 during the 6 min of cycling only rose slowly by increasing the pedalling rate in the range of 40-100 rev.min(-1). This increase, was 0.142 l per 20 rev.min(-1) on the average. Plasma lactate concentration during the sixth minute of cycling changed little within this range of pedalling rates: the values were 1.83+/-0.70, 1.80+/-0.48, 2.33+/-0.88 and 2.52+/-0.33 mmol.l(-1). The values of [La]pl reached in the 6th minute of cycling were not significantly different from the pre-exercise levels. Blood pH was also not affected by the increase of pedalling rate in the range of 40-100 rev.min(-1). However, an increase of pedalling rate from 100 to 120 rev.min(-1) caused a sudden increase in the VO2 amounting to 0.747 l per 20 rev.min(-1), accompanied by a significant increase in [La]pl from 1.21+/-0.26 mmol.l(-1) in pre-exercise conditions to 5.92+/-2.46 mmol.l(-1) reached in the 6th minute of cycling (P<0.01). This was also accompanied by a significant drop of blood pH, from 7.355+/-0.039 in the pre-exercise period to 7.296+/-0.060 in the 6th minute of cycling (P < 0.01). The mechanical efficiency calculated on the basis of the net VO2 reached between the 4th and the 6th minute of cycling amounted to 26.6+/-2.7, 26.4+/-2.0, 23.4+/-3.4, 20.3+/-2.6 and 14.7+/-2.2%, respectively for pedalling rates of 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 rev.min(-1). No significant increase in the VO2 from the 3rd to the 6th min (representing the magnitude of the slow component of VO2 kinetics) was observed at any of the pedalling rates (-0.022+/-0.056, -0.009+/-0.029, 0.012+/-0.073, 0.030+/-0.081 and 0.122+/-0.176 l.min(-1) for pedalling rates of 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 rev.min(-1), respectively). Thus a significant increase in [La]pl and a decrease in blood pH do not play a major role in the mechanism(s) responsible for the slow component of VO2 kinetics in humans.