During intense exercise, obese women rely more than lean women on aerobic energy

Ardévol, A.; Adán, C.; Franco, L.; García-Lorda, P.; Rubio, F.; Remesar, X.; Fernández-López, J.A.; Salas-Salvadó, J.; Alemany, M.

Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology 435(4): 495-502


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-6768
PMID: 9446696
DOI: 10.1007/s004240050544
Accession: 045844032

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A series of untrained, healthy, obese women (body mass index 32.5+-0.9 kgcntdotm-2) were subjected to a protocol of intense exercise on a cycloergometer and compared with lean controls (body mass index 20.9+-0.5 kgcntdotm-2). Physiological parameters, blood lactate, bicarbonate, plasma metabolites, oxygen consumption and CO2 production were measured. Impedance-derived extracellular water and plasma changes in lactate and bicarbonate were used to determine changes in bicarbonate pools and lactate-displaced CO2. From these and respiratory gases, the respiratory quotient was calculated and thence overall fuel consumption. Anaerobic energy during exercise accounted for about 1.8% of all energy consumed in the lean but only 0.7% in the obese. Obese women fatigued at lower workloads and energy expenditure levels than did the lean, and their lactate buildup was similar when compared on the basis of fat-free mass. The data support the postulation of fatigue being triggered by a combination of factors: stretched cardiovascular work would be the main factor for obese women, in part limiting lactate production. For lean women, the triggering factor for fatigue could be the loss of buffering capacity; but it is the combination of stretching cardiovascular capacity, exhaustion of glycogen and available glucose and increase in lactate/loss of bicarbonate buffer that determines the onset of fatigue.

During intense exercise, obese women rely more than lean women on aerobic energy