After exercise, you would probably feel pain in your muscles. Do you know why it happens?
This pain or burning sensation is a muscle because of the formation of lactic acid in muscles. Sportspersons or athletes also suggest minimising lactic acid from the body if you want to increase performance. The overabundance of lactic acid stores up in the muscles when oxygen is low in the body, leading to muscle pain.
But actually, it is NOT true.
Lactic acid doesn’t directly cause tired muscles.
Our body forms energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by the process of glycolysis which breaks down glucose (from the foods you eat) in the presence of oxygen and produces energy and releases carbon dioxide.
Muscles can break down carbohydrates anaerobically to provide energy, resulting in a compound called pyruvate. When oxygen is available, pyruvate can be further broken down aerobically to provide more energy. But when sufficient oxygen is not available, pyruvate is converted into lactic acid.
While breathing, we breathe in air that contains oxygen and when we breathe out, carbon dioxide is released. After breathing in, the oxygen-rich air is transported to all parts of our body and ultimately to each cell. Inside the cell, the food, present in the form of glucose, is broken down into pyruvate which further breaks into carbon dioxide and water with the help of oxygen. But when sufficient oxygen is not available, pyruvate is converted into lactic acid. The process of the breakdown of glucose into lactic acid is known as anaerobic respiration.
When your exercise at high intensities, your body doesn’t have the capacity to use oxygen as efficiently. So glucose present in your body breaks down in the absence of oxygen and produces lactic acid. This process when happens, it is called anaerobic respiration.
Lactate produced during anaerobic respiration (respiration in absence of oxygen) is not useful for cells in terms of energy production. Therefore, it is been transported from cells to blood and then to the liver. In the liver, lactate is converted back into pyruvate, which is used to generate more glucose for the production of energy.
Story of Lacty Frog: How was lactic acid discovered in muscles?
When the body taps into anaerobic metabolism, it uses the body’s supply of stored sugars, known as glycogen, without the need for oxygen. One of the by products of burning glycogen — a process known as glycolysis — is lactic acid.
It was German physician Otto Meyerhof who showed, using frog legs in an air-tight jar, that lactic acid was formed from muscle glycogen in the absence of oxygen. This research eventually led to him, along with another pioneer in the field, British physiologist Archibald Hill, receiving the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1922.
The experiments using frog legs showed that using electric pulses to make the legs contract produced lactic acid in the muscles and that they stopped contracting after repeated stimulations — leading to the theory that lactic acid was responsible for muscle fatigue. But more modern research has shown that their findings apply to detached amphibian muscle but not to live mammals, including humans.
How to reduce Lactic Acid?
- If you’ve ever done high-intensity interval training, then lactic acid will definitely form. To reduce lactic acid production from the body, you have to increase your physical fitness so that it takes your body to keep away from it as well as reduce body fat.
- Although, After exercising, the body automatically clears the lactate itself, which typically vanishes the fatigue and burning sensation caused by a pH drop.
- A balanced diet of fresh foods, cereals and whole grains having vitamin B, fatty acid and potassium, may help get rid of lactic acid or we can say reduce lactic acid.
- Drink lots of water. It helps get rid of any excess acid in the body. We should drink five litres of water per day. If you forget to drunk water, you can Also use daily water tracker app which remind you for drink water.
- How to Reduce Lactic Acid from the Body?
- 6 Best Exercise Equipment for Hand Arthritis
- Key Techniques and Tips to Switch Kick In Muay Thai
- Tips to Overcome the Failure in BJJ
- How Ginastica Natural Can Change Your BJJ Game?