Plasma catecholamines during endurance exercise of different intensities as related to the individual anaerobic threshold

A. Urhausen*, B. Weiler, B. Coen, W. Kindermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


The study investigated the concentrations of free plasma catecholamines (CAT), adrenaline and noradrenaline, in comparison to heart rate and lactic acid concentrations during endurance exercises (EE) of different intensities related to the individual anaerobic threshold (IAT). A group of 14 endurance trained male athletes took part in the tests on a treadmill. After an exhausting incremental graded test (increasing 0.5 m · s-1 every 3 min) to determine t he IAT, the subjects performed EE of 45 min in randomized order with intensities of 85%, 95%, 100% and 105% (E85-E105) of the IAT. The heart rate and CAT increased continuously during all EE. The CAT reacted sensitively to EE above IAT (E105) and showed an overproportional increase in comparison to EE performed with an intensity at or below IAT. At the same time, at exercise intensities up to IAT (E85-E100) a lactate steady state was observed whereas mean lactate concentrations increased during E105. The changes of lactate concentration allowed a better differentiation between E85-E100 as CAT measurements. In E95, E100 and E105 there was a partial overlap of heart rate, which in contrast to lactate concentration only differed by about 5%, so that small variations in heart rate could have coincided with considerable differences of exercise intensity when working at intensities near or above IAT. It was concluded that the range of IAT seemed to represent a real physiological breakpoint which corresponded to the aerobic-anaerobic transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Catecholamines
  • Ergometry
  • Heart rate
  • Individual anaerobic threshold
  • Maximal lactate steady state


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma catecholamines during endurance exercise of different intensities as related to the individual anaerobic threshold'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this