In vivo skeletal muscle metabolism during dynamic exercise and recovery: assessment by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to define temporally phosphorus metabolism and pH in the gastrocnemius muscles of 21 normal adult subjects during rest, dynamic exercise to exhaustion, and early and late recovery. METHODS: In vivo nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. RESULTS: At rest, the ratio of phosphocreatine to the alpha peak of ATP averaged 2.26 +/- 0.25, the inorganic phosphate to ATP ratio averaged 0.31 +/- 0.08 and pH averaged 7.10 +/- 0.04. The phosphorus metabolites exhibited immediate and progressive changes with exercise, reaching their minimum (phosphocreatine, 0.95 +/- 0.41) or maximum (inorganic phosphate, 1.95 +/- 0.75) values at exhaustion, after an average exercise of 11 +/- 4 mins. In contrast, pH changed slowly during early exercise, but fell abruptly thereafter and averaged 6.76 +/- 0.17 at exhaustion. Phosphocreatine and inorganic phosphate began to return rapidly towards preexercise values immediately on cessation of exercise. However, pH declined further in the period immediately following cessation of exercise, reaching a nadir of 6.56 +/- 0.24 an average of 2 mins into recovery. Exercise duration did not correlate highly with any metabolic variable. CONCLUSIONS: The data support the concept that the metabolic physiology underlying physical exhaustion of dynamic exercising muscle is multifactorial. The post exercise drop in pH also suggests that normal subjects have a greater contribution to high energy phosphate production from glycolysis, as opposed to oxidative metabolism, in early recovery.
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