EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses why everything you've ever heard about lactic acid is wrong, what it really is, and why it is actually BENEFICIAL for athletes.
6 Fast Facts On Lactic Acid (Lactate)
Ever wonder if lactic acid is the culprit behind the burning sensation you feel in your muscles when you exercise hard?
- First, everything you’ve ever heard about lactic acid is wrong; especially the name.What we really are referring to is LACTATE.
- When you exercise hard glucose is broken down for energy. One of the byproducts of glucose breakdown is pyruvate.
- Also as we exercise harder we see hydrogen ions start to accumulate in the muscles (this is the real culprit behind that muscle burning sensation & fatigue).
- Pyruvate helps to absorb these hydrogen ions to form LACTATE...not lactic acid...and in turns decreases muscle acidity.
- But wait...it gets even better! Lactate can then be shuttled back to the mitochondria to produce more ENERGY!
- Take home point..you can think of lactate as an acidity buffering system and it’s only when this system can’t absorb hydrogen ions fast enough that muscle acidity increases and you feel that burning sensation and start to fatigue.