Lactic acid is a substance released by our muscles when, even having used all the energy reserves, the body still needs more. This acid, in small amounts, acts as a temporary energy source, slowing down the onset of muscle fatigue. However, if this accumulates in our muscles for too long a period, it causes a burning sensation and pain in the muscles that can end up affecting our physical performance, reaching the point of paralyzing muscle action.
That is why we bring you the following oneHOWTO article, where we will explain what lactic acid is, how it appears and what functions it performs in our body and above all how to remove lactic acid build-up of our muscles.
What is lactic acid and how does it work in our body
Lactic acid is an element that arises when glucose breaks down when there is no oxygen. Oxygen is not present during anaerobic exercisesFor example, lifting weights or running at high speed, all those exercises that are done with great intensity and with little duration. Normally, lactic acid is reused by the body, either because we are training or because the exercise is of low intensity, but if this high intensity exercise is continued, that acid will accumulate in the body without being able to eliminate it. The consequence is that the muscle fibers become acidic, behaving the following: consequences:
- The enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the glucose molecules, from which we obtain energy, are inhibited, which prevents energy risk. As is normal, if there is no energy there can be no movement, so muscle stops.
- Calcium cannot bind to muscle fibers so muscles they cannot be contracted.
In short, when lactic acid accumulates in the body, our body runs out of energy and is unable to contract the muscles, which we feel as muscle fatigue.
How to remove lactic acid quickly
Drink a lot of water
If we take into account the solubility of lactic acid in water, we will come to the conclusion that the more hydrated you are, the less likely it is that you will begin to feel the pain and burning typical of the accumulation of this acid in the body. The key is to drink plenty of water during your exercise, but also before and after. The ideas is to drink water every 20 minutes, thus avoiding becoming thirsty.
The muscle pain that occurs with fatigue has two main causes. On the one hand, as we have already explained, the accumulation of lactic acid, but on the other hand it is also due to a lack of oxygen. If you make an effort to breathe properly, deeply, you will be able to conserve maximum oxygen and delay the appearance of lactic acid.
Get active often
Obviously, the physical state of each person influences the time it takes for lactic acid to accumulate in the muscles. The more prepared you are physically, the lower the amount of glucose that your body will need to metabolize to convert it into energy, so the less lactic acid that accumulates in your muscles will also be.
Another essential aspect to eliminate lactic acid quickly, as well as to prevent it from accumulating in your muscles, is to design a good training routine, which takes into account a gradual increase in activity. Thus you will avoid overexposing your body Too much effort and to be able to increase it as you get in better physical condition.
You have to pay special attention to this point if you work with weights. Weight lifting is one of the exercises that most influences the accumulation of lactic acid, since it needs much more oxygen than our body is capable of producing.
You see increasing both the weight and the repetitions gradually, without exceeding your limit, as it is something that could lead to injuries and physical problems.
Stretch at the end of the workout
Lactic acid disappears from the body between half an hour and an hour after finishing the training. A good way to speed up that dispersion is to properly stretch all the muscles to relieve any pain, burning, or cramping. Also, if possible, you can gently massage your muscles to relieve tension and stiffness.
Lactic acid: food
Food is one of the most important points that we must take into account to avoid the accumulation of lactic acid in our body. Here are some tips on how you should eat to eliminate lactic acid from your body:
Magnesium is a very important mineral for the proper functioning of our body and it is vital to be able to produce the necessary levels of energy that are demanded during sports practice. If our magnesium levels are correct, our body will be able to carry all the energy they require to the muscles, thus preventing lactic acid from accumulating.
Preferably, that magnesium must come through the diet, so below we will explain which are the foods that provide us with the most magnesium:
- Pumpkin seeds
Another option is to take magnesium supplements that you can find in any nutrition store or pharmacy, although with a balanced diet it would not be necessary. Anyway, in the following oneHOWTO article we explain how to take magnesium in supplement form.
Fatty acids are a type of food that helps the body break down glucose, which is essential for the body to regulate energy. If we have enough, it will not be necessary for lactic acid to accumulate, allowing to delay the onset of fatigue.
Foods rich in fatty acids are:
- Corn oil
Baking soda with water
Being an alkaline substance, sodium bicarbonate with water prevents the accumulation of lactic acid in our muscles. That is why if you take it before training you can delay its appearance. The appropriate doses of bicarbonate with this objective are 0.3 grams per kilo of weight mixed with water.
Vitamin B is another of the essential elements so that glucose can reach all the muscles of the body, which allows them to receive the amount of energy they need and reduces the need for lactic acid accumulation.
Some of the foods with more vitamin B are:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Dairy products
Lactic acid and shoelaces
As we have seen, this substance product of the metabolization of sugar is the cause of muscle fatigue, however, far from what is popularly believed, It is not the culprit of the famous shoelaces that appear after exercising.
For a long time, it has been wrongly accused of causing the pain that appears 1 to 3 days after vigorous exercise. However, the most recent studies show that lactic acid is eliminated 1 hour after finishing the session, so it cannot be the cause of the shoelaces.
DMAT – late-onset muscle pain – as soreness is scientifically known, is caused by damage to muscle cells when exercise is too intense. The result is inflammation and pain while they are being repaired. The only solution is to do a good stretching and warm-up before exercising so that the muscles can prepare. Another essential thing is to adjust the physical activity to the capacity of the person, gradually increasing the intensity of the workouts, adjusting it to the pace that can be carried.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to remove lactic acid build-up, we recommend that you enter our Fitness category.