What is lactic acid accumulation and how can it be treated?

When the body converts glucose into energy, lactic acid is produced. Lactic acid production occurs when oxygen levels are low, usually when you are doing intense exercise. Lactic acid build-up can be a hindrance to your training program, so it's important to learn about this process and how you can prevent it from happening.

BingMag.com What is lactic acid accumulation and how can it be treated?

When the body converts glucose into energy, lactic acid is produced. Lactic acid production occurs when oxygen levels are low, usually when you are doing intense exercise. Lactic acid build-up can be a hindrance to your training program, so it's important to learn about this process and how you can prevent it from happening.

What is lactic acid?

BingMag.com What is lactic acid accumulation and how can it be treated?

Lactic acid is produced in muscle cells and red blood cells. During exercise, the body is forced to break down carbohydrates into glucose, and lactic acid is a byproduct of this process. If we want to explain more precisely; The lack of oxygen in the muscle cells forces the body to carry out the process of glucose breakdown. Glycation is a process that aims to provide the energy needed by cells, and lactic acid is a side product of sugar. Scientifically, lactic acid and lactate are different from each other. When the hydrogen ion in lactic acid is separated from it, lactic acid is converted to lactate. . Lactate is a source of energy needed by the body and has very important functions. During high-intensity exercise, it is the process of anaerobic energy production that enables the muscle cells to perform the most strenuous activity for one to three minutes.

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The process of lactate production in the body

As mentioned earlier, the body supplies the energy needed by the muscles through the process of glycolysis. In this process, the body breaks down the glucose received through the diet and produces adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is what muscles use as fuel.

The amount of ATP produced in the process of sugar breakdown depends on the presence of oxygen in this process. When you exercise intensely, your body relies heavily on fast-twitch muscle fibers to generate the necessary force. These types of fibers cannot effectively use oxygen. So it doesn't matter if you do strength training or aerobic training; During intense training, the demand for ATP increases, but the oxygen level is low. In anaerobic diabetes, the final product of glucose breakdown is lactate, and this process increases the level of lactate in the blood. Of course, researchers have found that lactate is also produced in aerobic conditions, and this process does not occur only in anaerobic conditions. .

What is the lactate threshold?

As mentioned earlier, lactic acid is converted into lactate in the body. A condition in which the body cannot clear lactate at the same rate as it has produced, and as a result, the amount of lactate in the blood begins to increase and rises above its optimal level, is called lactate threshold. This condition can be caused by an increase in lactate production or a decrease in lactate clearance.

During exercise, the amount of lactate increases and this lactate enters a cycle to provide the energy needed for other cells and body processes. Oxygen is needed for lactate metabolism, but during intense exercises that the aerobic system cannot support, lactate accumulates in the blood without entering the metabolic cycle. mentioned above, but we should not forget that lactate accumulation occurs during strength training.

What is lactic acid accumulation?

Lactic acid accumulation is a dangerous condition that occurs with an excessive increase in lactate. It is created in the blood.

During intense training, the muscles' need for oxygen increases so much that the body is unable to receive this amount of oxygen, and this condition leads to anaerobic respiration and lactic acid accumulation. When lactic acid starts to increase depends on the level of physical fitness of the person. On the other hand, the body removes excess lactic acid, but the rapid increase of lactic acid may cause the body to be unable to regulate its optimal level.

Accumulation of lactic acid causes fatigue in the muscles, and it is possible that the muscles lose their ability. lose for functional contractions. This is where some people experience a burning sensation in their muscles while exercising.

Of course, it is interesting to know that some experts have a different opinion. They believe that the production process that occurs 24 to 48 hours after training is not the accumulation of lactic acid. , deep breaths and drinking enough water are all solutions that can help you to clear lactic acid during training. Also, one of the approved strategies for clearing lactic acid is to involve muscle groups in active recovery after training. Doing light exercises such as yoga, walking, cycling or using a foam roller can be effective in cleaning lactic acid from the body. In this study, some participants performed active recovery and others performed passive recovery. The comparison of these two recovery methods showed that active recovery has a greater effect on reducing lactic acid. Athletes who performed active recovery were able to ski further and faster in the next training session. Exercise intensity

  • Adequate rest between exercises
  • Deep breaths during exercise
  • Drinking enough water during training
  • Active recovery after training
  • How to prevent the accumulation of lactic acid?

    BingMag.com What is lactic acid accumulation and how can it be treated?

    Although there is almost no way to prevent lactic acid build-up, you can raise your lactate threshold with exercise.

    Experts say that exercise can significantly relieve the feeling of burning and fatigue caused by the accumulation of lactic acid. The advice of experts to prevent the accumulation of lactic acid is to gradually increase the amount, duration and intensity of exercises.

    Of course, it is not necessary to prevent the accumulation of lactic acid completely. Some training methods such as high intensity interval training (HIIT) are performed at a point beyond the lactate threshold. If you arrange your exercise program so that these exercises are sandwiched between rest days and light training sessions, they are good for creating training adaptations and help improve recovery.

    On the other hand, proper fueling for training It can also have a positive effect on the amount of lactic acid. For example, beta-alanine is a supplement that, although it may hinder athletic performance, can delay the negative effects of lactate accumulation. Of course, a suitable program for feeding and taking supplements must be set by an experienced sports nutritionist, and athletes usually cannot set this program by themselves.

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    Methods to prevent lactic acid accumulation

    • Gradually increasing the amount, duration and intensity of exercises
    • Inclusion of rest days and light training sessions in the sports program
    • Proper nutrition and consumption of necessary supplements under the supervision of a sports nutritionist

    Summary

    Accumulation of lactic acid is not necessarily a bad thing. Lactic acid is a byproduct that is produced in the body and the purpose of its production is to support anaerobic activities. In fact, it is this process that helps people to be able to perform very intense exercises. Of course, an excessive increase in lactic acid can lead to a burning sensation in the muscles and negatively affect the athlete's performance. If you want the accumulation of lactic acid not to be a problem for you in the future, you should do more and more intense exercises over time. Before using the recommendations of this article, be sure to consult a specialist doctor. For more information, read BingMag Disclaimer.

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