The Influence of Age and Sexual Maturation on Children’s Blood Lactate Responses to Exercise

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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A total of 100 boys and 91 girls, ages 11 to 16 years, completed a discontinuous treadmill test to voluntary exhaustion to determine the oxygen uptake/blood lactate relationship. Maturational stage was assessed in 72 boys and 47 girls using Tanner’s indices. Mean blood lactate at peak VO2 was significantly higher in the girls compared to the boys (6.1 vs. 5.8 mmol•l-1, P<0.01). Lactate at peak VO2 and percent peak VO2 at 4.0 mmol•l-1 were not significantly correlated with chronological age (p>0.05) in either sex, although a relationship was obtained between chronological age and percent peak VO2 at 2.5 mmol•l-“1 for boys (r= ‒0.226, p<.05) and girls (r= ‒0.272, p0.05). Analysis of variance revealed no significant changes (p>0.05) in any of the lactate variables examined with progression through the Tanner stages of maturity.

The authors are with the Physical Education Association Research Ctr., School of Education, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX1 2LU United Kingdom.

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