Background: Active recovery has been used as a method to accelerate the recovery during intense exercise. It also has been shown to improve performance in subsequent exercises, but little is known about its acute effects on the hormonal and metabolic profle. The aim of this research was to study the effects of active recovery on plasma catecholamines and plasma insulin during a high-intensity interval exercise. Methods: Seven subjects performed two high-intensity interval training protocols which consisted of three 30-second high-intensity bouts (constant intensity), separated by a recovery of 4 minutes. The recovery was either active recovery or passive recovery. during the main test blood samples were collected and plasma insulin, plasma catecholamines and blood lactate were determined. furthermore, respiratory gasses were also measured. Results: Plasma insulin and blood lactate were signifcantly higher in the passive recovery trial, while plasma adrenaline was higher in the active recovery. additionally, Vo2 and Vco2 were signifcantly more increased during the active recovery trials. Conclusions: These results suggest that active recovery affects the hormonal and metabolic responses to high-intensity interval exercise. active recovery produces a hormonal environment which may favor lipolysis and oxidative metabolism, while passive recovery may be favoring glycolysis.
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