1. Five volunteers were studied before and after oral administration of NH4Cl (0.3 g/kg body wt.) given in order to create a moderate acidosis.
2. The quadriceps femoris muscles were stimulated electrically for 75 s and muscle biopsies for determination of pH and metabolite content were taken before, at the end of contraction and after 10 min in the recovery period.
3. Muscle pH at rest (mean 7.04) was not significantly decreased after acidification despite an extracellular pH decrease of 0.15 unit.
4. After contraction muscle pH was significantly lower after NH4Cl. Mean values before and after acidification were 6.70 and 6.54 respectively.
5. The buffer capacity calculated as the total capacity of the muscle to buffer H+ produced during the isometric contraction before and after NH4Cl ingestion was reduced from 68.6 sl to 54.5 sl.
6. The force produced by contracting muscle was significantly lower at the end of the contraction period after NH4Cl ingestion, 44.6% of initial compared with 55.4% without NH4Cl.