Have you ever heard about lactic acid and its effects on your body? As it turns out, it is not the one responsible for making your muscles sore after an exercise. Let’s discuss what it does in your body and how to prevent it from becoming a problem.
Lactic Acid: Explained
The presence of a carbonyl group beside a hydroxyl group makes Lactic acid an alpha hydroxy acid. These types of acids are products of chemical or natural fermentation process. It is naturally produced in citrus fruits, sugar canes, sour milk, and tomato juices.
It is not only present in food, but it is also found in human muscles. During a workout, our body processes sugar aerobically to make energy. This is why we breathe faster when working out because our body needs more oxygen to process glucose.
When doing high-intensity exercises, our body requires more energy than it normally uses, which is why it breaks sugar anaerobically.
When oxygen is limited, pyruvate is converted to lactate. This process can only sustain the body for three minutes at most. If you try to sustain the activity, lactate will be further oxygenated to lactic acid. An accumulated acidity in the muscles can cause soreness, cramps, and weakness.
Effects of Lactic Acid in the Body
The presence of the acid in the muscles is completely normal and there is nothing to worry about. However, in some cases of extreme build-up, some people experience symptoms like a feeling of weakness, muscle cramps and soreness, nausea, shortness of breath, and yellowish eyes and skin. If any of these symptoms persist after exercise, immediately call a doctor.
How to Avoid Lactic Acid Build-Up
It is relatively easy to prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. The first rule of workout is to train gradually and regularly. Second is to watch the food you eat.
A healthy diet will help keep up with the energy requirement.
Third, make variations in your workout routine. Avoid doing intense exercise all the time. And lastly, keep yourself hydrated at all times. Water is your best friend, whether you are working out or not.
The accumulation of lactic acid is not really a big deal. You should feel the symptoms wearing off after a couple of hours. The acid will leave the system in an hour. It is best to check how you feel and see which exercise routine works best for you.