Precision Metabolomics Reveal Dynamic Serum Metabolic Changes Driven by Exercise Intensity in Acute Swimming

Published: 19 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/hh8c9rrtwc.1
Baile Wu


This study explored the metabolic responses of 42 healthy adults to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) versus high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in swimming. Through an exhaustive metabolite analysis employing liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we characterized and quantified a vast array of metabolites across both exercise protocols.


Steps to reproduce

HIIT groups, meeting the required sample size (22-48 overall, 11-24 in single group). Study design. The participants were categorized into two swimming groups: the moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) group and the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) group. To be familiar with the formal test commands and to minimize the impact of environmental stimuli such as water temperature and swimming skill factors on the formal test as much as possible, both groups underwent one week of swimming adaptation training, totaling two sessions with at least one day of rest in between. On the third morning following the final adaptation training session, participants conducted a single formal swimming test while in a fasted state (Figure 1a). During the swimming exercise and testing period, participants were instructed to maintain their regular diets and avoid engaging in additional moderate-to-high-intensity physical activities. On the evening of the day before the formal testing, fasting was initiated after 8:00 PM, ensuring a fasting period of 10-12 hours overnight. The swimming exercises were conducted in the standard indoor swimming pool at Beijing Sport University. Throughout the period, swimming professionals and medical personnel were present, and intensity was monitored using the BHT-TEAM (BoHaoTong, China) wearable telemetry heart rate system. Blood Collection and Sample Preparation. Before the formal testing, all participants had fasting morning blood samples collected at baseline. Other blood samples were collected from both the MICT and HIIT groups immediately after exiting the pool (within 2 minutes), as well as during the recovery periods at 15 minutes and 30 minutes post-exercise. After the first blood sample was collected upon exiting the pool, participants were instructed to avoid excessive physical activity and any active recovery measures until after the blood sample collection at 30 minutes post-exercise, at which point they were free to engage in normal activities and have meals. Blood samples were collected into red-top BD vacutainers without anticoagulants. After standing at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, the samples were centrifuged at 1200g for 10 minutes in a refrigerated centrifuge at 4℃. The separated serum samples were then transferred to labeled new 1.5mL centrifuge tubes and stored at -80℃ until Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis(Agilent 1290 II, Agilent Technologies, Germany) and lactate and glucose testing using a glucose lactate analyzer (EKF Biosen C-line, Germany).


Beijing Sport University School of Sports Science


Exercise Physiology, Metabolomics