Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Committee Member

John C. Young

Number of Pages



Recently, potassium has been investigated as a possible metabolite involved in the control exercise ventilation. Graded and incremental cycle tests using healthy subjects show a strong correlation between plasma potassium (K{dollar}\sp+{dollar}) and ventilation (V{dollar}\sb{\rm E}).{dollar} However, the role of potassium has not been investigated during steady state exercise. During steady state exercise researchers have observed a ventilatory drift that cannot be accounted for by lactate or expired carbon dioxide (VCO{dollar}\sb2).{dollar} The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between plasma K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} levels and the ventilatory drift during steady state exercise. Participants cycled at 60% VO{dollar}\sb2{dollar} max. for 30 minutes. VO2, VCO2, V{dollar}\sb{\rm E}{dollar} plasma K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} and lactate were measured each minute. There was an 8% increase in both VO2 (p {dollar}<{dollar}.02), VE (p {dollar}<{dollar}.03) and a 16% increase in K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} (p {dollar}<{dollar}.04) between 6 and 30 minutes of exercise. VCO2 and lactate remained unchanged. There were significant correlations between V{dollar}\sb{\rm E}{dollar} vs K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} (r =.97) and VO2 vs K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} (r =.97) during steady state exercise. V{dollar}\sb{\rm E}{dollar} and lactate over the same duration were not correlated (r =.47). These results suggest a positive relationship between increases in K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} and ventilation during steady state exercise. Whether K{dollar}\sp+{dollar} is the causative agent of the ventilatory drift, however, remains to be determined.


Continuous; Drift; Exercise; Plasma; Potassium; Relationship; State; Steady; Ventilatory

Controlled Subject

Kinesiology; Physiology

File Format


File Size

1699.84 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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