Giampa, S. Q., Souza, J. F., de Mello, M. T., Santos, R. V., & Antunes, H. K. (2013). Affective and physiological responses of maximal exercise realized in simulated hypoxia. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2704.

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This study investigated the effects of physical exercise performed to maximal voluntary exhaustion at sea-level and at a simulated hypoxic condition on the lactate concentrations and affective responses in healthy males (N = 12). Ss performed on a treadmill a progressive-load protocol until maximal voluntary exhaustion under two conditions: a) sea-level and b) a normobaric chamber condition simulating an altitude of 4,500 m. For the two conditions, Ss answered the Subjective Experience and Scale Exercise Questionnaire which evaluated the affective responses induced by exercise at different time-courses: baseline, immediately after, and 30 and 60 minutes after the exercise protocol. Blood samples to yield lactate concentrations were obtained at the same times.

The Subjective Experience and Scale Exercise Questionnaire showed a similar behavior between the experimental conditions with a decrease of the scores in the Positive Well-being dimension immediately after exercise and at 60 minutes of recovery. Fatigue and Psychological Distress dimensions showed increased scores when compared to baseline immediately after exercise, but in the sea-level condition, better recovery was observed at 30 minutes and 60 minutes post-exercise when compared to the hypoxic condition. The behavior of the lactate concentrations was similar between the conditions and time-courses. In the hypoxic condition, higher lactate concentrations were observed immediately after and at 30 minutes after exercise when compared to baseline values. In an intergroup comparison immediately after exercise, higher lactate concentrations were observed in the hypoxia condition when compared to sea-level values.

Implication. An hypoxic environment influences both emotional and physiological aspects of performance, which may adversely affect athletic performance.

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