Impact of Endurance Exercise in Hypoxia on Muscle Damage, Inflammatory and Performance Responses

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Sumi, D, Kojima, C, and Goto, K. Impact of endurance exercise in hypoxia on muscle damage, inflammatory and performance responses. J Strength Cond Res 32(4): 1053–1062, 2018—This study evaluated muscle damage and inflammatory and performance responses after high-intensity endurance exercise in moderate hypoxia among endurance athletes. Nine trained endurance athletes completed 2 different trials on different days: exercise under moderate hypoxia (H trial, FiO2 = 14.5%) and normoxia (N trial, FiO2 = 20.9%). They performed interval exercises (10 × 3-minute running at 95% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max with 60-second of active rest at 60% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max) followed by 30-minute of continuous running at 85% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max under either hypoxic or normoxic conditions. Venous blood samples were collected 4 times: before exercise, 0, 60, and 120-minute after exercise. The time to exhaustion (TTE) during running at 90% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max was also determined to evaluate endurance capacity 120-minute after the training session. The H trial induced a significantly greater exercise-induced elevation in the blood lactate concentration than did the N trial (p = 0.02), whereas the elevation in the exercise-induced myoglobin concentration (muscle damage marker) was significantly greater in the N trial than in the H trial (p = 0.005). There was no significant difference in plasma interleukin-6 (inflammatory marker) concentration between the H and N trials. The TTE was shorter in the N trial (613 ± 65 seconds) than in the H trial (783 ± 107 seconds, p = 0.02). In conclusion, among endurance athletes, endurance exercise under moderate hypoxic conditions did not facilitate an exercise-induced muscle damage response or cause a further reduction in the endurance capacity compared with equivalent exercise under normoxic conditions.

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