n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Use of blood lactate concentration as a marker of training status : review article

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



The recent development of portable blood lactate analysers has made it relatively easy to test blood lactate concentration in the field. This paper discusses the validity and accuracy of measuring blood lactate concentration as a marker of training status or exercise intensity and examines the assumptions upon which the above practice is based. <br>The mechanisms responsible for blood lactate accumulation according to different theories are discussed, followed by a review of the literature regarding the measurement, tracking and interpretation of blood lactate concentration. <br>The use of blood lactate concentration to monitor either training status or intensity is complicated by the inaccuracy of portable lactate analysers, multiple confounding factors affecting blood lactate concentration such as carbohydrate depletion, mode of exercise, ambient temperature, muscle damage and overtraining and difficulty in interpreting the results. The relationship between changes in blood lactate concentration following training and subsequent performance in competition has not been convincingly established. Therefore it may be concluded that changes in blood lactate concentration should be interpreted with caution as the changes do not track training status or exercise intensity with sufficient precision to have a practical application.

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