Active recovery counteracts the post-exercise rise in plasma-free fatty acids

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Dec;10(4):404-14. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.10.4.404.


The present study investigated the effect of active recovery (AR) as compared to rest recovery (RR) upon FFA concentrations following moderate- (MI) or high-intensity (HI) running. Fourteen well-trained males (23.7 +/- 6 years, VáO2max = 69.5 +/- 1.8ml á min-1 kg-1) were randomly assigned into two trials (HI = 30 min at 82% of VáO2max; MI = 60 min at 75% of VáO2max). Within each group, the subject completed two sets of experiments of running followed by either AR (15 min running at 50% of VáO2max) or RR (complete rest in the supine position). Plasma volume changes after the exercise did not deviate between the AR or RR trials. In both the HI and MI trials, AR resulted in lower FFA peaks and lower overall FFA concentrations while performing AR (p <.05). However, upon discontinuing AR, there was a rise in the FFA concentration. At 120-min post-exercise, the FFA concentrations after AR and RR were not significantly different. The changes in the FFA/albumin ratio were similar to the FFA responses. It is concluded that AR may counteract the rise in FFA 5-15 minutes after exercise.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Volume / physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion* / physiology
  • Rest* / physiology
  • Running
  • Serum Albumin
  • Time Factors


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Serum Albumin
  • Lactic Acid