The influence of blood flow on muscle lactate and H+ release as well as muscle glyconeogenesis was studied in the perfused rat hindlimb. After 2 min of supramaximal stimulation the perfusate flow rate was 7 (F7), 12 (F12), or 18 (F18) ml/min for 30 min. Perfusate samples were drawn frequently and muscle samples were obtained before stimulation, immediately after stimulation, and at 3, 10, and 30 min of recovery from soleus, white gastrocnemius (WG) and red gastrocnemius. During the first 5 min of recovery lactate release was 35-39% lower (P < 0.05) in F7 than in F12 and F18 but with no differences in total release during recovery. In F7 the concentration of lactate was higher (P < 0.05) in soleus after 10 min (18-20%) and in WG after 30 min (63-67%) than in F12 and F18. During the first 2 min of recovery H+ release was 23-34% lower (P < 0.05) in F7 than in F12 and F18. The difference between H+ and lactate release was larger (P < 0.05) in F7 than in F12 and F18 from 3 to 10 min and from 5 to 10 min of recovery, respectively. Muscle glycogen concentrations after 30 min of recovery were independent of flow in each of the muscles. The present data suggest that 1) in the range of blood flow rates from 0.61 to 0.92 ml.min-1.g-1, lactate and H+ release are independent of the flow rate, whereas at a lower flow rate (0.36 ml.min-1.g-1) release of these substances is decreased; 2) low blood flow influences lactate efflux more than H+ release; and 3) muscle glyconeogenesis from lactate is of minor importance.