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Psychomotor performance during prolonged exercise above and below the blood lactate threshold.

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Department of Applied Physiology, Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.


Previous investigations from this laboratory have demonstrated that during graded exercise with exercise intensities increasing every 3 min until exhaustion the multiple choice reaction time (RT) decreased until the intensity exceeded the lactate threshold (LT) by approximately 25%, and then rapidly increased. The aim of this study was to follow up changes in RT during prolonged exercise at constant intensities above and below LT and to relate these changes to changes in venous blood lactate [La-]b, and plasma catecholamine [CA]pl concentration responses to the exercise. For this purpose eight young soccer players exercised for 20-min on a cycle ergometer at 10% above LT, and nine exercised for 60 min at an intensity 30% below LT. During both tests RT, heart rate (HR), as well as [La-]b, and [CA]pl were measured. Above LT, RT decreased from the 5th min until the end of exercise, whilst HR, [La-]b, and [CA]pl increased progressively. Significant inverse correlations were ascertained between RT and plasma adrenaline (r = -0.651) and noradrenaline concentrations (r = -0.678). During exercise below LT, RT decreased up to approximately 40 min, then it reached a nadir, and stabilized at this level. This was accompanied by only small changes in [La-]b and [CA]pl. The present findings would indicate that young athletes are able to maintain for a relatively long time, or even increase, their psychomotor performance during endurance exercise both below and above the LT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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