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Lactic Acid and Performance


Updated February 19, 2008

Plenty of research has swirled around about lactic acid in recent years and now scientists have debunked many of the myths that lactic impairs performance. In fact, now it is believed that lactic acid actually provides another fuel source for working muscles.

Lactic acid may still be behind the burning sensation during intense exercise but new research has confirmed that delayed onset muscle soreness is from the are microscopic tears and trauma to the muscles and inflammation.

Lactic acid was always seen as a by-product of metabolizing glucose for energy and a waste product that caused a burning sensation in the muscles. Now it is seen as another important fuel source in the body. Lactic acid is formed from glucose, and used by working muscles for energy. Now it is thought that muscle cells convert glucose or glycogen to lactic acid. Then lactic acid is absorbed converted to a fuel by mitochondria in muscle cells.

By training at a high intensity (lactate threshold training) it is thought that the body creates additional proteins that help absorb and convert lactic acid to energy.

Also See
What is Lactate Threshold - LT?
What Causes Muscle Fatigue?


Brooks GA, et al. Lactic acid accumulation is an advantage/disadvantage during muscle activity. Journal of Applied Physiology. June, 2006

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