This study aimed to examine the blood lactate and blood pH kinetics during high-intensity interval training. Seventeen well-trained athletes exercised on two different occasions. Exercises consisted of three 30 s bouts at a constant intensity (90% of peak power) with 4 min recovery between bouts followed by a Wingate test (WT). The recoveries were either active recovery (at 60% of the lactate threshold intensity) or passive recovery (resting at sitting position). During the exercise, blood samples were taken to determine blood gasses, blood lactate, and blood pH, and peak and average power were calculated for the WT. When performing the active recovery trials, blood pH was significantly higher (p < 0.01) and blood lactate was significantly lower (p < 0.01) compared with the passive recovery trials. WT performance was significantly higher in the active recovery trials: peak power was 671 ± 88 and 715 ± 108 watts, and average power was 510 ± 70 and 548 ± 73 watts (passive and active respectively; p < 0.01). However, no statistically significant correlations were found between the increased pH and the increased performance in the active recovery trials. These results suggest that active recovery performed during high-intensity interval exercise favors the performance in a following WT. Moreover, the blood pH variations associated with active recovery did not explain the enhanced performance.
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