We investigated the metabolic basis of human muscular fatigue and recovery utilizing 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy and measurements of maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). We produced fatigue by sustained MVC for 4 minutes in 2 different muscles (adductor pollicis, tibialis anterior) and obtained similar results in both muscles. During fatiguing exercise, there was a nonlinear relationship between MVC and both phosphocreatine and total inorganic phosphate. By contrast, there was a roughly linear relationship between the decline in MVC and the accumulation of both H+ and H2PO4-. However, during recovery after exercise, MVC rapidly returned to control levels while H+ recovered with a much slower time course. On the other hand, H2PO4- rapidly returned to control values with a time course similar to MVC. In addition, the relationship of H2PO4- to MVC was similar during both fatigue and recovery. Thus, during fatigue as well as during recovery, changes in MVC correlate best with H2PO4-, suggesting that this metabolite is an important factor in human muscle fatigue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology