Fatigue and recovery of mouse soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles were investigated in standard saline and in saline containing the lactate + hydrogen ion transport blocker, alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (cinnamate). The fatigue protocol was a series of brief isometric tetani which reduced isometric force by about 25%. Recovery was monitored by test tetani during recovery. Both muscles recovered completely in standard saline. Soleus muscle also recovered completely in the presence of cinnamate, whereas extensor digitorum longus hardly recovered at all. Force during fatigue and recovery can be described in a mathematical simulation in which force depends on intracellular inorganic phosphate and pH, and the only effect of cinnamate is to block lactate + hydrogen ion transport. The results of the simulation suggest that during the fatiguing series of tetani pH changes are small and have a negligible effect on force, but pH is a major determinant of the timecourse of recovery in extensor digitorum longus.