Effect of ambient temperature on human skeletal muscle metabolism during fatiguing submaximal exercise

J. M. Parkin, M. F. Carey, S. Zhao, M. A. Febbraio

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Abstract

To examine the effect of ambient temperature on metabolism during fatiguing submaximal exercise, eight men cycled to exhaustion at a workload requiring 70% peak pulmonary oxygen uptake on three separate occasions, at least 1 wk apart. These trials were conducted in ambient temperatures of 3°C (CT), 20°C (NT), and 40°C (HT). Although no differences in muscle or rectal temperature were observed before exercise, both muscle and rectal temperature were higher (P < 0.05) at fatigue in HT compared with CT and NT. Exercise time was longer in CT compared with NT, which, in turn, was longer compared with HT (85 ± 8 vs. 60 ± 11 vs. 30 ± 3 min, respectively; P < 0.05). Plasma epinephrine concentration was not different at rest or at the point of fatigue when the three trials were compared, but concentrations of this hormone were higher (P < 0.05) when HT was compared with NT, which in turn was higher (P < 0.05) compared with CT after 20 min of exercise. Muscle glycogen concentration was not different at rest when the three trials were compared but was higher at fatigue in HT compared with NT and CT, which were not different (299 ± 33 vs. 153 ± 27 and 116 ± 28 mmol/kg dry wt, respectively; P < 0.01). Intramuscular lactate concentration was not different at rest when the three trials were compared but was higher (P < 0.05) at fatigue in HT compared with CT. No differences in the concentration of the total intramuscular adenine nucleotide pool (ATP + ADP + AMP), phosphocreatine, or creatine were observed before or after exercise when the trials were compared. Although intramuscular IMP concentrations were not statistically different before or after exercise when the three trials were compared, there was an exercise-induced increase (P < 0.01) in IMP. These results demonstrate that fatigue during prolonged exercise in hot conditions is not related to carbohydrate availability. Furthermore, the increased endurance in CT compared with NT is probably due to a reduced glycogenolytic rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-908
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Glycogen
  • Heat stress
  • Inosine 5'-monophosphate
  • Total adenine nucleotides

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