Lactic Acid Formation-what is it? While performing an intense exercise workout, the circulatory system cannot keep up with your muscles’ demand for oxygen. To maintain a steady supply of energy, muscles shift from aerobic metabolism, which requires oxygen, to anaerobic metabolism, which does not. Muscles can break down carbohydrates anaerobically to provide energy, resulting in a compound called pyruvate. When oxygen is available, pyruvate can be further broken down aerobically to provide more energy. But in absence of sufficient oxygen, pyruvate is converted into lactic acid.
Lactic acid is rapidly broken down into a compound called lactate. Further when lactate production exceeds the clearance rate, it accumulates in the muscles and bloodstream causing increased acidity in the tissues, due to the buildup of hydrogen ions, that contribute to the sensation of fatigue.
In order to prevent lactic acid formation, check out the following tips,
1. Take A Hot Bath: Soak yourself for about 15-30 minutes in a hot bath after a workout session. Heat works to improve blood circulation, reduce stiffness and temporarily reduce the ache of overworked muscles. Even, you can try alternating cold and hot baths because the cooler temperature may help you relieve inflammation and work as a painkiller. Keep in mind that baths are a better home remedy for muscle soreness than showers as the heat can penetrate the muscles once you are submerged.
2. Deep Breathing: The cause of the burning sensation that you feel within your muscles while your workout is twofold, partly caused by the buildup of lactic acid and lack of oxygen. To deal with this condition pay greater attention to your way of breathing while you perform exercises. Be sure that you are breathing deeply both in and out. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. With that way, you will be able to deliver enough oxygen to your muscles and block the lactic acid buildup.
3. Slow Down When You Feel A Hit: Whenever you feel a hit of lactic acid burning whilst exercising, reduce the intensity of your workout right away. The burning sensation you feel in your intense workout may be the defense mechanism of the body to protect yourself from overexertion. In case you are performing these aerobic activities , including running, walking fast, biking or using a stair or elliptical stepper, slow down your speed. If you are lifting weights, you should lower the quantity of repetitions or reduce the size of the weights you are using.
4. Stay Hydrated: The best tip on how to reduce lactic acid is that you need to stay hydrated. You can keep the body hydrated in order to help you reduce the buildup of lactic acid.
In fact, lactic acid is water soluble, so drink enough water in order to reduce the effect of lactic acid on your overall health. By consuming plenty of water, you will not get a burn during your workout. Do not wait until you feel this.
5. Always Warm Up: Warming up before any exertion can help minimize the lactic acid. Before your workout, stretching will limber up the joints and muscles and this will help reduce the risks of injury. So, it is the good time for you to perform some low-intensity exercises so that your body can be ready for a workout. Some people like riding a bicycle or going for a walk for a few minutes. The important thing here is that you start out in a slow way and gradually work up to a higher exertion level. Basing on your coming physical activity, you can turn from a warming up routine into a faster run or heading into the weight room.
6. Stretch! Stretch & Stretch: When it comes to knowing how to reduce lactic acid, stretching before any workout is a great idea as it will help the body be ready for the lactic acid. Try to spend a few minutes on stretching out some of the leading muscle groups. Include both sitting and standing stretches.When you do stretching, it should stretch the calves, groin, ankles, quads, shoulders, back, neck and arms. It is best to do it in a way that you do not take a risk of damaging your muscles.
7. Always allow Your Body to Cool Down: Never leave the body hanging after doing exercise or weighting lift rather, let the body reduce the buildup of lactic acid and one of the effective ways to do it is to make it cool down. So, you should try to cool down the body in many forms in order to help reduce lactic acid faster.
8. Workout Frequently: As you know that the more physically shaped we are, the less glucose that our body would require to burn, and this may lead to less lactic acid buildup. So, try to work out several times a week with 1-2 rest days to allow your muscle to recover. Gradually, increase the intensity of your workout and also slowly add a few minutes to your workout routine. With that way, you will increase the level at which your body can begin to create lactic acid.
9. Increase Intake of Antioxidant – Rich Foods: Foods those are high in antioxidants; such as leafy green veggies, berries, and nuts, have been proven to stave off lactic acid. Consuming more of foods that contain antioxidants is an effective tip on how to reduce lactic acid buildup in legs and in muscles.
10. Massage Gently: Press on tender muscles and joints in order to work out tension. Massage can work in the same way that stretching can do to speed up the recovery process by increasing the mobility in your muscle fibers.
These are some tips to reduce & manage lactic acid buildup in muscles.