Interpreting lactate values the right way
By Sebastian Weber
When using VO2max and VLamax as markers for aerobic and glycolytic performance, it is important to differentiate and account them for a specific body composition. Read more…
Imagine we are looking at two different male athletes. For simplicity, two cyclists who mainly use their lower limbs to produce power. The two athletes have the same leg muscle-mass and the same lactate production rates for those muscles.
However, one athlete has a higher water concentration in the body because he is leaner. The other athlete, on the contrary, has a higher fat percentage and therefore lower water-mass in the body. If now both athletes produce the same amount of lactate in their muscles while riding their bikes, the concentration of lactate in their blood will be different – because their lactate dilutes differently according to their body composition.
It is like using one scoop of sugar in your espresso to offset the bitter taste of it: this will result in a specific concentration of sugar in your coffee. But if you add milk and steam to make your espresso into a cappuccino (and still using one scoop of sugar), the concentration of sugar in the total drink will be much different because the overall volume of the drink is different.
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