It is known that lactate accumulates in the skeletal muscle during intense anaerobic exercise but is rapidly cleared from the muscles when they resume aerobic metabolism; however, at least some lactate reaches the blood stream. It has been observed that during maximal exercise, blood lactate increases with transport of the blood to the brain. This could be interpreted as a mechanism to protect against possible “central fatigue” in times of maximal activity during the course of which the lactate would preserve the functionality of the primary cortical motor and sensory areas, even at the expense of the efficiency of the other structures. In this way, the role of lactate, both at the muscular level and in the CNS, appears to shift from being responsible for fatigue to protector from fatigue, which represents a real transition similar to that of how the image of Mr. Hyde changes to that of Dr. Jekyll.
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