Lactic Acid is also known as milk acid in your body. Sounds very complex? Okay, so let’s break that down into simpler pieces then. Every muscle in your body has certain amount of energy stored into it to undertake any physical activity. However, when you exercise or work out the energy from these muscles is used rapidly. So the higher the physical labor, the higher is the rate of energy consumption. When your muscles require more energy, glucose is broken down and oxidized to form pyruvate. The byproduct of this process is lactate. This lactate however recycles back into creating energy for your body and hence is required. However, for every one molecule of lactate one hydrogen ion is formed. In Lactic acid, hydrogen is the acidic part.
There have been various studies on lactic acid. As per the popular age-old belief, lactic acid causes pain the body of athletes. However, studies now have shown and proved that it is not the lactate, which causes pain. In fact, the hydrogen ions flow into the blood that causes burning sensation and pain. Here are some ways you can control the levels of lactic acid in your body.
One of the best ways to control lactic acid levels in your body would be to workout regularly. However, when you workout do not start doing strenuous exercise straight away as this will fuel the production of lactic acid in your body. Start your workout regime with slow workout and increase the intensity slowly. In addition, do not end your workout abruptly especially when you are doing strenuous workout. Before you end your workout, lower the intensity. For example if you are running, make sure that you walk before you stop. Try to keep your workout in such a way that you exercise for 20 minutes and take some rest. This will control the production of lactic acid in your body.
Lactic acid in your body is water solvent. Hence, keep yourself hydrated. Make sure that you drink lots of water before and after workout. Water will dissolve the lactic acid and pass it through urine. When you are working out, make sure that you drink water after every 20 minutes of workout. Ideally, you should drink 200 ml of water after every 20 minutes of workout. Do not wait to feel thirsty. If you are feeling thirsty, this means you are already de-hydrated. If you are de-hydrated, the lactic acid will be more in your body.
Experts say that excess lactic acid in your body after you workout automatically goes away. One hour after you workout is the time, which it takes for the excess lactic acid to exit. Thus, when you workout make sure that you dedicate 15 minutes to stretching your body both before and after your workout. This will ease out the flow of lactic acid in your body spreading it evenly in your body and helping you in controlling the lactic acid levels.
A massage therapy can be a great way of controlling your lactic acid levels in the body. You can go for a Thai massage, shiatsu, or even Swiss massage. Massage therapist uses trigger point therapy to release the lactic acid from different muscles in your body. In a trigger-point therapy, a massage therapist applies pressure using hands, fingers and elbows on the trigger points to release the accumulation of lactic acid in that muscle and spreading out evenly. However, get a massage right after your workout for best results. If you do not want to spend the money on a massage then use your hands and fingers to give yourself a massage after workout on specific muscles.
Swimming can be a good fun way of releasing excess lactic acid in your body. Swimming involves stretching your muscles and hence can control the level of lactic acid in the body. However, you should swim after the workout and make sure that you do light swimming. The best part about swimming is that almost all parts of your body stretches, which spreads out the lactic acid in your body and helps in releasing it. You can also do mild cycling if you do not know hot to swim. Some researchers argue that cycling has a better affect in releasing lactic acid than swimming.
Carbohydrates in your body are required to give you energy. Carbohydrates increase the level of lactic acid in your body. Therefore, even though your body requires carbohydrates, intake of more than what your body requires may lead to excess lactic acid in the body. Of course you can also
Increase your Lactate Threshold
Lactic acid is not the real culprit. It is the excess hydrogen ions, which causes the pain and burning sensation in your muscles. In fact, lactic acid is good for your body and is required during your workout. It is when hydrogen ions goes into your blood it causes your muscles to pain. Hydrogen ions lower the blood pH level making your muscles acidic and thus causing pain. Hence, you should not really work at reducing lactic acid but you should work at increasing your lactate threshold, which means your ability to clear lactate from the blood. Increasing your lactate threshold will not be that easy. Doing workouts like tempo run or any strenuous exercise at 85-90 percent of your heart rate for 20 minutes continuously increases your lactate threshold.