Lactic Acid: Friend or Foe?

What if lactic acid is really on our side?

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Lactic Acid

As runners, we are all too familiar with that burning sensation of lactic acid build-up in our muscles. But, it turns out lactic acid may not be the bad guy we think it is.

Our muscle tissue is fueled by the breakdown of glucose. Under normal conditions, when oxygen is readily available, metabolic energy is produced via glycolysis.

After a prolonged run or intense exercise, oxygen availability decreases in the muscles and an alternative metabolic process is utilized. Blood flow alone is unable to supply enough oxygen to the tissues because the demand for energy is so high.

It is under these hypoxic conditions where lactate shows its true value. This product ensures glycolysis can still run even in the most adverse conditions when oxygen becomes completely unavailable.

Some may argue that lactate is the reason for metabolic acidosis within the body and is associated with decreased muscle performance and discomfort. However, updated research has found that there is no biochemical evidence supporting this.

In the event of prolonged exercise, we must also consider that the resources used to fuel our body are not endless and at some point, we will naturally experience fatigue. While this topic is still widely controversial, new research is coming out with more evidence to support the benefits of lactate within the body.

Moral of the story: the next time you embark on a long-distance run consider thanking this active metabolite for your lasting endurance rather than blaming it for your muscle pain. It plays an important role in keeping your muscles moving!

While this topic is still widely controversial, new research is coming out with more and more evidence to support the benefits of lactate within the body. Moral of the story, the next time you embark on a long-distance run consider thanking this active metabolite for your lasting endurance rather than blaming it for your muscle pain. Not only that but bring this topic up and you will now be the most interesting conversationalist during the next jogging session with your peers.

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