Recovery (passive vs. active) during interval training and plasma catecholamine responses

Int J Sports Med. 2013 Aug;34(8):742-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1327697. Epub 2013 Feb 26.


The effect of recovery mode (Active [AR] vs. Passive [PR]) on plasma catecholamine (Adrenaline [A] and Noradrenaline [NA]) responses to maximal exercise (Exemax) was studied during interval training (IT). 24 male subjects (21.1±1.1 years) were randomly assigned to a control group (CG, n=6), AR training group (ARG, n=9) or PR group (PRG, n=9). ARG and PRG participated in an IT program 3 times a week for 7 weeks. Before and after training, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal aerobic velocity (MAV) were measured. Plasma A and NA were determined at rest, at the end of Exemax and after 10 and 30 min of recovery. Training induced significant changes only in ARG: an increase of VO2max and MAV along with a significant increase of A and NA at the end of Exemax (2.82±0.15 vs. 1.03±0.15 nmol/l and 7.22±0.36 vs. 6.65±0.57 nmol/l, respectively p<0.05). The ratio A/NA measured at the end of Exemax also increased significantly after training (0.41±0.11 vs. 0.16±0.08, P>0.05). The present results show that IT with AR induces a significant increase of A and NA concentrations in response to maximal exercise. The study furthermore shows that IT program with AR may induce more stress than the same program with PR.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Epinephrine / blood*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine