The relationship between the ventilation and lactate thresholds following normal, low and high carbohydrate diets

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1989;58(6):568-76. doi: 10.1007/BF00418501.


Five men performed an incremental exercise test following a normal, low and high carbohydrate dietary regimen over a 7-day period, to examine the influence of an altered carbohydrate energy intake on the relationship between the ventilation (VET) and lactate (LaT) thresholds. VET and LaT were determined from the ventilatory equivalents for O2 (VE.VO2(-1) and CO2 (VE.VCO2(-1) and the log-log transformation of the lactate (La) to power output relationship, respectively. The total duration of the incremental exercise test, carbon dioxide output (VCO2), respiratory exchange ratio, blood La values and arterialized venous partial pressure of CO2 (PCO2) were reduced, and VE.VCO2(-1), the slope of the VE-VCO2 relationship, blood beta-hydroxybutyrate and pH were increased during the low carbohydrate trial compared with the other conditions. Total plasma protein and Na+, K+, and Cl- were similar across conditions. LaT and VET were unaffected by the altered proportions of carbohydrate in the diets and occurred at a similar oxygen consumption (mean VO2 across trials was 1.98 L.min-1 for VET and 2.01 L.min-1 for LaT). A significant relationship (r = 0.86) was observed for the VO2 that represented individual VET and LaT values. The increased VE.VCO2(-1) and slope of the VE-VCO2 relationship could be accounted for by the lower PCO2. It is concluded that alterations in carbohydrate energy intake do not produce an uncoupling of VET and LaT as has been reported previously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise Test
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactates / blood*
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Respiration*
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Lactates
  • Glycogen