© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. This study evaluated the effect of animal temperament measured using flight speed (FS) on plasma lactate, muscle glycogen and lactate concentrations at slaughter plus ultimate pH in 648 lot finished cattle of mixed breed and sex. Muscle samples were collected at slaughter from the m. semimembranosus, m. semitendinosus and m. longissimus thoracis (LT) for analysis of glycogen and lactate concentration. Blood was collected after exsanguination and analysed for plasma lactate concentration and ultimate pH of the LT was measured. FS had no effect on muscle glycogen concentration in any muscle or ultimate pH of the LT (P. >. 0.05). As FS increased from 1 to 5. m/s, plasma and muscle lactate concentration increased by 54% and 11.4% (P. <. 0.01). The mechanisms through which temperament contributes to variation in glycogen metabolism remain unclear. The risk of dark cutting was not impacted by temperament, indicating that other production and genetic factors have a greater impact on the incidence of dark cutting.