• Perceived exertion;
  • Fatigue;
  • Afferent signals;
  • Cardiorespiratory and metabolic systems


The aim of this study was to determine if the carbohydrate (CHO) availability alters the rate of increase in the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during high intensity exercise and whether this would be associated with physiological changes. Six males performed high intensity exercise after 48 h of controlled, high CHO (80%) and low CHO (10%) diets. Time to exhaustion was lower in the low compared to high CHO diet. The rate of increase in RPE was greater and the VO2 slow component was lower in the low CHO diet than in the control. There was no significant condition effect for cortisol, insulin, pH, plasma glucose, potassium, or lactate concentrations. Multiple linear regression indicated that the total amplitude of VO2 and perceived muscle strain accounted for the greatest variance in the rate of increase in RPE. These results suggest that cardiorespiratory variables and muscle strain are important afferent signals from the periphery for the RPE calculations.