Acute effects of a lactate
supplement on running performance
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a lactate supplement on a 5 km performance trial following a 1 hour run at 65% of workload associated with VO2 peak. There were no significant differences between the lactate supplement (L) and a placebo (P) in 5 km time to completion (23.2 ± 1.1 and 23.3 ± 1.1 min, respectively, p = 0.813). A tendency was observed for a lower rating of perceived exertion during the 1 h run in the L trial (12.7 ± 1.6) than the P trial (13.0 ± 1.7; p = 0.089). Perceived leg discomfort 24 h after exercise returned to pre-exercise values in L (3.1 ± 1.9; p = 0.536) but was still elevated in P (3.6 ± 1.4; p = 0.008). Potential differences in RPE and perceived leg discomfort 24 hrs after exercise may explain anecdotal reports of lactate supplementation effectiveness.
During the course of the last century, supplementation for performance gains has grown exponentially; as a result, so has the research on ergogenic supplementation. One supplement that has gained popularity with athletes is a calcium and magnesium derived lactate supplement. Previous research conducted using lactate infusion has demonstrated positive effects on exercise capacity by increasing gluconeogenesis, and thus providing an alternative energy source and sparing glucose (1). Additionally, increased cycling time to exhaustion has been demonstrated with the intake of popular sports drinks containing lactate (2). Previous research has not supported performance benefits of lactate supplementation (3) despite anecdotal claims. However, the relatively short duration of the performance trials in previous investigations may have been a factor in the supplement’s lack of effectiveness. The 20 km performance trial incorporated in previous work took participants less than 40 minutes to complete and thus muscle fuel sources were likely not a limiting factor. Lactate is a useful fuel source and thus ingesting a supplement containing lactate has t ...