Muscle Metabolism and Fatigue during Simulated Ice Hockey Match-Play in Elite Players

JEPPE F. VIGH-LARSEN, GEORGIOS ERMIDIS, VINCENZO RAGO, MORTEN B. RANDERS, DAN FRANSSON, JAKOB L. NIELSEN, LASSE GLIEMANN, JACOB F. PIIL, NATHAN B. MORRIS, FRANK V. DE PAOLI, KRISTIAN OVERGAARD, THOMAS B. ANDERSEN, LARS NYBO, PETER KRUSTRUP, MAGNI MOHR

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose The present study investigated muscle metabolism and fatigue during simulated elite male ice hockey match-play. Methods Thirty U20 male national team players completed an experimental game comprising three periods of 8 × 1-min shifts separated by 2-min recovery intervals. Two vastus lateralis biopsies were obtained either during the game (n = 7) or pregame and postgame (n = 6). Venous blood samples were drawn pregame and at the end of the first and last periods (n = 14). Activity pattern and physiological responses were continuously monitored using local positioning system and heart rate recordings. Further, repeated-sprint ability was tested pregame and after each period. Results Total distance covered was 5980 ± 199 m with almost half the distance covered at high skating speeds (>17 km·h−1). Average and peak on-ice heart rate was 84% ± 2% and 97% ± 2% of maximum heart rate, respectively. Muscle lactate increased (P ≤ 0.05) more than fivefold and threefold, whereas muscle pH decreased (P ≤ 0.05) from 7.31 ± 0.04 pregame to 6.99 ± 0.07 and 7.13 ± 0.11 during the first and last periods, respectively. Muscle glycogen decreased by 53% postgame (P ≤ 0.05) with ~65% of fast- and slow-twitch fibers depleted of glycogen. Blood lactate increased sixfold (P ≤ 0.05), whereas plasma free fatty acid levels increased 1.5-fold and threefold (P ≤ 0.05) after the first and last periods. Repeated-sprint ability was impaired (~3%; P ≤ 0.05) postgame concomitant with a ~10% decrease in the number of accelerations and decelerations during the second and last periods (P ≤ 0.05). Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that a simulated ice hockey match-play scenario encompasses a high on-ice heart rate response and glycolytic loading resulting in a marked degradation of muscle glycogen, particularly in specific sub-groups of fibers. This may be of importance both for fatigue in the final stages of a game and for subsequent recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberMSS.0000000000002370
Pages (from-to)2162-2171
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Volume52
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • glycogen
  • performance
  • high-intensity
  • intermittent exercise
  • team sport
  • fiber-type
  • ice hockey
  • male

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