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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LACTIC ACID

Many athletes use the feeling of “burning” in their muscles to set the rhythm of their workouts without really knowing why. The cause of this feeling is that the metabolism of energy produces cellular oxidation, which releases hydrogen ions from the nutritional substrate due to the action of enzymes.

The substrate loses ions as it oxidizes, and these are gained by the coenzyme, which is reduced to NADH while the other H+ is released into the cellular liquid. Another receptor called FAD, acts in a similar manner, bonding with two hydrogen atoms to form FADH2. As both FADH2 and NADH are transported around the respiratory chain, two hydrogen ions bond with one atom of oxygen to form water.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the primary fuel used by muscles during short, intense bursts of effort. The process by which FADHS and NADH are transferred to molecular oxygen is called phosphorylation.

When strenuous exercise is conducted, there may be a deficit of oxygen. This can create an imbalance between the release of hydrogen ions and their capture by oxygen. This results in the formation of lactic acid, which is actually a waste product but is recycled back into pyruvic acid by the body for further use.

The lactic acid in the bloodstream moves away from where it was created. However, when an intense effort continues for some time, the system can’t generate ATP as fast as it is needed and this accumulation of lactic acid inhibits the functioning of some of the enzymes necessary for muscular contraction. This slows down or stops muscle movement.

The effort involved in a “leg press” series of 3 maximum repetitions would be intense, but would take little time. However, if we were to try 15 maximum repetitions of the same exercise, we would experience a burning sensation and panting, indicating an accumulation and deficient synthesis of the lactic acid.

You should actively rest the area concerned by massaging or moving the muscles to stimulate irrigation and the normalization of body systems.

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