Nitric oxide response in exhaled air during an incremental exhaustive exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 Apr;82(4):1311-8. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1997.82.4.1311.


This study examines the response of the exhaled nitric oxide (NO) concentration (CNO) and the exhaled NO output (VNO) during incremental exercise and during recovery in six sedentary women, seven sedentary men, and eight trained men. The protocol consisted of increasing the exercise intensity by 30 W every 3 min until exhaustion, followed by 5 min of recovery. Minute ventilation (VE), oxygen consumption (VO2), carbon dioxide production, heart rate, CNO, and VNO were measured continuously. The CNO in exhaled air decreased significantly provided that the exercise intensity exceeded 65% of the peak VO2. It reached similar values, at exhaustion, in all three groups. The VNO increased proportionally with exercise intensity up to exhaustion and decreased rapidly during recovery. At exhaustion, the mean values were significantly higher for trained men than for sedentary men and sedentary women. During exercise, VNO correlates well with VO2, carbon dioxide production, VE, and heart rate. For the same submaximal intensity, and thus a given VO2 and probably a similar cardiac output, VNO appeared to be similar in all three groups, even if the VE was different. These results suggest that, during exercise, VNO is mainly related to the magnitude of aerobic metabolism and that this relationship is not affected by gender differences or by noticeable differences in the level of physical training.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitric Oxide