Lactic Acid – Effects on the Body and facts about muscle pain?

What is lactic acid?

Lactic acid is a molecule formed as a waste product in the muscles during intense physical exercise. In the body, it is more correct to speak of lactate than of lactic acid; since this is the form in which it is in a more significant proportion.

These two molecules are generated from glucose after exercising in anaerobic mode.

Studies (1) (2) have confirmed that it is a mistake to associate muscle pain with the accumulation of these molecules.

Lactate can quickly train the exercise without the presence of oxygen but is then converted by the liver into pyruvate and muscle glycogen .¹

The actual cause of muscle pain is micro-damage to muscle fibers. Making a direct relationship between lactic acid concentration and severe muscle pain is a myth that has become a thing of the past.

Effects of lactic acid on muscles

  1. Lactic acid is not a cause of muscle pain.
  2. Lactic acid formation increases when there is no oxygen
  3. The hot baths and the sauna do not serve to eliminate it
  4. The more carbohydrates you consume, the more lactate is formed
  5. You produce more lactate than you think
  6. The number of pulsations is related to the production of lactate
  7. Lactate increases when high carbohydrate foods are eaten.
  8. Lactic acid is not a cause of muscle pain.

Muscle aches are caused by micro-damage to muscle tissue. The lactate concentration has nothing to do with it.

  1. Lactic acid formation increases when there is no oxygen.

Lactate formation does not require the presence of oxygen. For this reason, it is said that lactate is formed in an anaerobic mode. The production of this molecule occurs more quickly when the muscle increases its maximum capacity to more than 50%.

  1. The hot baths and the sauna do not serve to eliminate it.

The liver processes lactic acid. Relaxation techniques, hot baths, and the sauna are not effective in removing this molecule. However, some studies confirm the benefits of the sauna after training for other reasons.

  1. The more carbohydrates are used, the more lactate is formed.

Lactate is a close relative and derived from glucose, one of the most popular simple carbohydrates. The more the need to use carbohydrates, the more is the amount of lactate that is formed in the body.

  1. You produce more lactate than you think.

An increase in lactate concentration does not necessarily go hand in hand with the amount generated after training. Lactate can be formed by other external factors and changes in tissue.

  1. The number of pulsations is related to the production of lactate.

When the heart rate increases, the heart uses lactate for energy. This is one of the bases for calculating the ideal number of pulsations to burn fat.

  1. Lactate increases when high carbohydrate foods are eaten.

When eating carbohydrate foods, both glucose and lactate concentrations increase. However, the lactic acid concentration is not. These macronutrients are transformed into lactate so quickly that they do not allow time for this intermediate to form.

How to eliminate lactic acid with exercise?

Eliminating lactic acid with physical exercise is possible. Combining high-intensity workouts such as the circular training mode is the most effective strategy.

Some professional trainers use HIIT or the Tabata method to eliminate lactic acid. These are methods of improving pre-competition performance. We emphasize that it has nothing to do with muscle pain. However, it has been proven to increase the body’s speed using lactate for energy during a marathon.

Lactic acid and lactate are products that participate in the metabolism of glucose. They have been proven to have nothing to do with muscle pain. However, eliminating these molecules with high-intensity training improves sports performance.

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