Deutsch, M. U., Kearney, G. A., & Rehrer, N. J. (1999). Lactate equilibrium and aerobic indices of elite rugby union players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 1361.

Elite rugby union players (N = 30) performed an incremental VO2max protocol followed by a three-minute incremental submaximal protocol (aerobic work). Blood was sampled from the earlobe at each stage. Lactate equilibrium was defined as a plateauing of lactate during a three-minute incremental phase. It represents a balance between production and clearance of lactate.

Significant correlations were found between: i) VO2max and the rate of lactate clearance during the initial stages of the three-minute aerobic protocol, ii) VO2max and the velocity at which equilibrium was observed, and iii) rate of lactate clearance and velocity of equilibrium.

These relationships indicate that improved aerobic capacity is related to an increased capacity to clear lactate.

These findings are ambiguous for they suggest either of the following:

Implication. Aerobic training improves recovery from lactate work and lactate clearance during aerobic work.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.