sprinter runThere is a consensus in scientific literature that active recovery enhances the rate of blood lactate removal. However, the rate of blood lactate removal is dependent on the intensity of active recovery (Belcastro and Bonen, 1975), arterial lactate concentration (Stanley et al., 1985), muscle glycogen content (Essen et al. 1975) and muscle fibre type (Bonen et al. 1978). In addition, increased blood flow may facilitate oxidation of lactate within the muscle (Brooks, 1986), while active recovery may increase the efflux and flow of lactate to other tissues for oxidation (Lindinger et al., 1990) resynthesis to glycogen (Hermansen and Vaage, 1977) or both (Gollnick et al., 1986). Furthermore, the muscle mass involved during active recovery may also be important for blood lactate removal. When the active muscle mass is increased (e.g. leg exercise during recover), blood lactate clearance is better than when smaller muscles are involved (McGrail et al., 1978).

Moreover, the training status of the individuals (Taoutaou et al., 1996) and the mode of the previous exercise, as well as the mode of recovery exercise may be contributing factors to blood lactate removal. It is also suggested that active recovery must be applied with the same kind of activity as the previous exercise, since sport specific active recovery enhances the removal of blood lactate faster than non specific active recovery (Krukau et al., 1987, Siebers and McMurray, 1981). It is suggested that, if active recovery is performed with muscles that were previously inactive (legs), arterial hypotension and a slower release of lactate from the previously active arm muscles may occur (Hildebrandt et al., 1992). However, following leg exercise, the rate of lactate removal was similar irrespective of using the active or inactive leg for active recovery, whereas, a decreased rate of lactate removal was observed when the arms were used for active recovery (McLoughlin et al., 1991). It should be noted that the difference in the rate of lactate removal between the arm and leg active recovery may be affected by the relative intensity of the selected muscle group since the selected intensity of active recovery may increase lactate production during arm exercise (McLoughlin et al., 1991). The literature for lactate metabolism is extensive and has been reviewed by expert scientists. Nevertheless, in this chapter only some factors contributing to lactate elimination will be discussed, in particular those related to performance on a subsequent sprint.


  • blood lactate
  • intensity exercise
  • intense workout
  • intense exercise
  • blood circulation
  • sport recovery


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