What is lactic acid?
In the area of muscles, lactic acid is a chemical residue from muscle work and is important for some biochemical processes.
What does the accumulation of lactic acid mean?
Anyone who does intensive sports knows the pain that can be caused by lactic acid. This substance accumulates in the muscles and causes muscle pain and a feeling of burning.
Instructors and trainers know that it is important to work below the aerobic threshold (that is, to increase the intensity of the effort only to the extent that the formation of lactic acid in the cells is not increased).
Physical performance decreases when lactic acid is deposited in the muscles. Some athletes have blood tests done to determine their performance limit.
The muscles produce them by using glucose (sugar) and oxygen.
Lactic acid is converted to glucose in the liver.
Well-trained athletes perform hard workouts because their body is used to producing energy by burning glucose and reabsorbing lactic acid faster.
Curiosity: lactic acid attracts mosquitoes. A sweating athlete is therefore more likely to be stung.
How long does lactic acid stay in the muscles?
The excess of lactic acid in the muscles persists up to an hour after exercise.
Certainly, there are still some personal trainers of the older generation who claim that the legs will hurt for 3-4 days because of the accumulation of lactic acid.
Which muscles cause more pain from lactic acid?
In the arms, the athlete feels mainly pain in biceps, triceps, chest and forearms.
After running, one feels pain in the calves, sometimes on the quadriceps of the thighs and rarely in the buttocks or on the posterior thigh muscles.
The footballer feels the muscle pain mainly in the quadriceps and in the adductors (inner thighs).
What to do? Natural remedies for eliminating lactic acid
The accumulation of lactic acid does not cause problems, but the body interprets it as a danger signal and provokes muscle pain.
One should spare oneself and avoid competitions or training to reduce the symptoms.
With the following advice, an accumulation of lactic acid can be broken down:
During exercise, microfiber tears may occur in the muscles. You can put packs of ice on at the end of the workout to reduce inflammation, but after 24 hours it is recommended to warm the muscle to stimulate the healing process.
healthy foods Many vitamins and minerals help prevent lactic acid deposits.
Foods with magnesium (tofu, nuts and seeds) keep lactic acid levels low.
The essential fatty acids in salmon and mackerel improve glucose utilization.
This leads to a reduction in lactic acid formation.
Vitamin C (citrus fruits), potassium (banana and kiwi) and the vitamins of the B group (meat, dairy products, etc.) are other nutrients that favor the breakdown of lactic acid.
a lot Drinking plenty of water is very important: a hydrated body accumulates less lactic acid in its arms and legs than a dehydrated one.
You should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Sports drinks can also contribute to the disposal of lactic acid.
Among the solutions that dispose of lactic acid is sodium bicarbonate, which is an alkaline substance.
Dietary supplements are unnecessary. It is enough to take a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water.
Before an intensive workout, this lowers the lactic acid level in the muscle.
Dissolve a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a cup of water and drink 2-3 hours before training. Sodium bicarbonate can lead to side effects such as indigestion.
Medications do not help break down lactic acid, however, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce muscle pain, for example, ibuprofen (Brufen) or ketoprofen (alrheumun).
Analgesics such as acetaminophen (ben-u-ron) are effective for muscle pain.
Prevention of lactic acid formation
Before training you should warm up briefly.
Methods of warming up the muscles are: massage, stretching and light exercises.
The duration of stretching should be longer than the warm-up phase and each of the muscles should be stretched for at least 30 seconds.
During the anaerobic exercises in the fitness center, one should train all the muscles of the body.
Often bodybuilders focus on the upper parts of the body. On the other hand, you should work more on the leg muscles.
You should vary the workouts to train all muscles and allow them to quickly break down accumulations of lactic acid.