Mota, M. R., de Aguiar, A. F., Dutra, M. T., Pardono, E., de Lima, F. D., Fontoura, H. P., & A Dantas, R. E. (2013). Acute effect of two types of blood lactate in recovery after swimmers maximum effort. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 368.

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This study evaluated the effect of active recovery and passive recovery on blood lactate after exercise in swimmers (N = 15). Ss participated in a 200 meters freestyle simulation, with two different forms of 15-minutes of recovery. Treatments were i) 15 minutes of passive recovery (supine position under the sun, covered with a towel) and ii) 5 minutes of passive recovery (supine, under the sun, covered with a towel) followed by 10 minutes of active recovery (performed at 60-65% of the maximum intensity of swimming) . Lactate samples were obtained before the competitive simulation, 5 minutes, and 15 minutes into post-exercise recovery

Pre-simulation times were similar on both occasions. Lactate levels were similar after five minutes of passive recovery. However, at 15 minutes, there was a significant difference between the treatments for lactate. Active recovery produced 35.6% removal of lactate while passive recovery resulted in only 14.96% removal.

Implication. Active recovery is more efficient than passive recovery in removing lactate after a 200 m swim. While ten minutes of 60-65% swimming intensity increases the rate of lactate removal it is insufficient to fully recover to resting levels.

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