The aim of this study was to evaluate whether fixed blood lactate reference values of 2.5 and 4.0 mmol.1(-1) corresponded to the equivalent intensity of exercise in prepubertal and teenage boys, and men. Twenty six prepubertal boys (mean(sd) age) 11.1(0.4) years), 26 teenage boys (mean(sd) age 14.1(0.3) years), and 23 men (mean(sd) age 22.4(2.7) years) gave informed consent to participate in the study. Oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rates (HR) corresponding to the 2.5 and 4.0 mmol.1(-1) fixed blood lactate reference values were used as the criterion measures during incremental treadmill exercise. At the 2.5 mmol.1(-1) level there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in % peak VO2 between groups. For both prepubertal and teenage boys the 4.0 mmol.1(-1) lactate level represented a higher mean % peak. VO2 than for the mean (P < 0.05). The prepubertal and teenage values were again not significantly different (P > 0.05). Factors other than maturation during puberty influence blood lactate responses to exercise.
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