A method based on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is presented, which provides a rapid analysis of lactate in plasma. In order to test the technique, NIRS analysis and enzymatic measurements were made on plasma samples taken from exercising humans. A correlation coefficient of 0.995 and a standard error of 0.51 mmol/L were found between the enzymatic and the NIR results. This standard error is within the range needed for real-time monitoring of lactate in plasma for exercising studies. In the future, this technique may provide a valuable tool to assess physiological status for research and clinical use.

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