Lactic Acid Build-Up: What It Means and How to Get Rid of It
Lactic acid is often the result of normal metabolism. Oxygen in the blood is needed to convert glucose into energy. However, when there is not enough oxygen, the body breaks down glucose without oxygen, resulting in lactic acid.
Lactic acid, or lactate, accumulates in many tissues, including muscles, and then enters the bloodstream. The body can use small amounts of lactate as energy.
Often in humans, lactic acid levels rise during or after strenuous exercise. An increase in lactic acid caused by exercise is called hyperlactatemia.
The buildup of lactic acid can cause muscle pain and fatigue. Normally, the liver breaks down excess lactate in the blood.
Certain diseases can increase the production of lactic acid or decrease the body’s ability to clear lactate from the blood. This can lead to a buildup of lactate, which doctors call lactic acidosis.
The buildup of lactic acid in the muscles – good or bad?
The accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles during or after exercise is not harmful. It might even be useful. In small amounts, lactic acid can:
help the body absorb energy
to burn calories
increase the level of endurance
However, many people find that muscle pain and cramps from lactic acid buildup negatively impact their workouts.
Did you know that lactic acid in the muscles causes burning during exercise?
Lactic Acid Build-Up: What It Means and How to Get Rid of It is the most important topic.
From it, the muscles can hurt even after exercise. This is such a specific feeling that is familiar to anyone who has ever picked up weights.
Burning and pain are the main symptoms of lactic acid buildup in the muscles.
Lactic Acid Build-Up: What It Means and How to Get Rid of It Fitness Tips 2023
A bit of theory
Let’s start with the fact that the universal source of energy for the body is glucose. With the help of the enzyme system of the body, it is oxidized to water molecules and carbon dioxide through the formation of intermediate substances.
It releases the same energy that keeps us alive.
There are several processes of glucose decomposition: these are glycolysis, aerobic breakdown of glucose, etc.
This is not about that now, we are not in a biochemistry lesson. These processes differ, in particular, in the presence of certain intermediate products.
Enzymes are helper molecules of a protein nature that repeatedly accelerate all biochemical reactions in the cells of our body.
By the way, glucose processing occurs in every cell. After all, each cell behaves as an independent structure, capable of providing for itself like an accomplished man.
She receives an “income” in the form of nutrients and “spends” it on her needs to live well and comfortably. Except that in a cage, everything is much more complicated.
Man is an aerobic organism. That is, we cannot live without air. We need oxygen to break down glucose. But some of our cells have learned to live for a short time without oxygen.
Therefore, there is an aerobic pathway for the breakdown of glucose, with the formation, for example, of pyruvic acid (or pyruvate), and an anaerobic one with the formation of lactate (the very lactic acid in question).
Usually, the process of removing lactate from the muscles outstrips its accumulation.
This is exactly how muscles produce energy during heavy physical exertion when the supply of oxygen is difficult, but you need to work.
If you are experiencing a burning sensation, then these are symptoms that more lactic acid is being accumulated than is being excreted.
Lactate is an acid, it acidifies the environment in which it is located.
Receptors on muscle cells are irritated, and we feel that same familiar burning sensation.
On the Internet, you can find information that lactate is an ion of lactic acid.
Remember that in biochemistry, lactate is commonly referred to as lactic acid itself.
Burning during exercise
Burning comes pretty quickly in the first workouts.
Over time, the body adapts to the load and organizes the biochemical machine so that lactate is quickly removed from the muscles.
And the receptors do not have time to respond to its high concentration.
Thus, an experienced athlete either feels a short-term burning sensation or does not feel it at all.
It is said that working through such an unpleasant sensation in the muscles develops endurance
This is a correct opinion, but you can develop endurance in another way – by regularity, increasing the load time each workout.
In this case, you do not need to endure burning for a long time. Over time, this will help you get rid of lactic acid buildup in your muscles.
Burning in no way stimulates the growth of muscle fibers.
Burning in this case does not mean growing. It’s just that your myofibrils “eat” and release ATP to further contract.
By the way, for your muscles to work more efficiently, stock up on carbohydrates before training. In other words, eat. Then the load will be more efficient.
If your goal is not to gain mass, but to lose weight, you can use your internal reserves as a reserve.
But remember, the workout will be much harder. First, you will noticeably run out of glycogen in your muscles and liver, and then the fat will begin to be consumed.
To restore resources, you will still need to consume carbohydrates, only in smaller quantities.
To increase endurance, some athletes take creatine or ready-made lactic acid. The most commonly used is creatine.
Lactic Acid Build-Up: What It Means and How to Get Rid of It
The lactic acid in the muscles causes a rather strong burning sensation.
And the further we work with this burning sensation, the stronger the pain that we want to get rid of will be.
If you feel that the muscles are acidifying, take a longer rest after the exercise.
If burning occurs frequently and starts as early as 3-4 repetitions, eat something containing fast carbohydrates before and during training. It can be a regular meal or a special sports drink.
If you are looking to build muscle, burning during a workout is your enemy. Try to allow it as little as possible.
Muscle pain after exercise
If a lot of lactate has accumulated (and this happens when you have given a very large and unusual load to the muscles)
The pain appears 3-4 hours after training and intensifies the next day when micro-tears in the muscle fibers begin to inflame.
The main cause of this pain is no longer lactic acid (it is gradually washed away by the bloodstream), but microtrauma of muscle fibers.
This is normal in strength training. As it heals, the muscle becomes larger and stronger.
Specific pain for 1-2 days after a heavy load indicates that your muscles are growing.
Lactic acid is an intermediate product of the anaerobic breakdown of glucose.
It causes a burning sensation in the muscles during a workout and can cause you discomfort after a while. It does not affect muscle growth, but it interferes with work.
Let’s discuss Lactic Acid Build-Up: What It Means and How to Get Rid of It
Some bodybuilders report that the duration of such pain can be drastically reduced by supplementing with glutamine.
We would add L-carnitine to it, which helps to deliver glucose molecules to the muscles faster, breaking down fat cells.
And creatine – significantly increases the rate of excretion of lactic acid from the muscles.
Consume the amount of BJU that your body needs. Sleep enough hours.
Warm up at home after your workout. To remove lactic acid from the muscles, you need to “disperse” it through the body with blood.
Drink plenty of water.
The blood becomes less viscous and more easily disperses throughout the body, “washing” all its parts faster, which also helps to get rid of the pain.
To get rid of lactic acid, you can go to saunas. It is an effective treatment for pain and burning.
If your body tolerates high ambient temperatures well, this option is for you. You can sit in the sauna after your workout.
There should be a pool with not too cool water nearby. It is very convenient and pleasant to dive into it after the sauna, cool the body and warm up again in the sauna.
Instead of a sauna, you can use a hot bath. Pour sea salt there, and lie down for about 10 minutes. If you need to cool your body, use cool water.
The above activities speed up the elimination of lactic acid from the body and tone up your blood vessels. This will help you not only quickly get rid of lactate, but also improve your well-being.
Any massage therapist knows how to remove lactic acid from the muscles. Massage immediately after a workout not only helps to relax tense muscles but can also point out lactic acid from them.
Do a massage after a workout, it will noticeably improve your well-being.
We do not recommend letting massage therapists close to your neck. Make sure he has a medical degree and not just a certificate after a 30-day massage cycle.
The training regimen is the prevention and treatment of muscle pain.
In order not to spoil the impression of the gym after the first visit, dose the load.
First, start with small weights. May they be easy for you. Then you will increase the weight and work on increasing the volume of your muscles.
Secondly, pay attention to the number of repetitions. An untrained muscle will easily drown in lactate after 3 sets of 10 reps. So do 2 sets. Perhaps the coach will tell you to do exactly 3, or even 4.
Here is an example of the classic mistakes of trainers in a fitness club. A newcomer came who had never worked before.
Bench press 3 sets of 10 reps. Breeding dumbbells … Wait, but he no longer has the strength. No forces!
Diseases leading to the accumulation of lactic acid
Certain health conditions can reduce blood oxygen levels, resulting in increased lactate production. These diseases include:
Poorly controlled diabetes
In addition, liver damage and disease can affect the liver’s ability to remove lactate from the blood. This can lead to high blood lactate levels, which doctors refer to as hyperlactatemia.
Left untreated, lactic acidosis can change the pH balance of a person’s blood, which can lead to serious health complications.
cool and clammy skin
nausea or vomiting
Anyone who thinks they have lactic acidosis or hyperlactatemia should see a doctor immediately. Your doctor will usually do a blood test to check your blood lactate levels.