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Dan Raynham's Myth-crushers! no.1 Lactic acid.

Updated: Mar 13


dan raynham the fitness scientist lactic acid myths science facts mythbusting debunk health exercise training wellbeing

The fitness business is filled with misinformation. Much of it is internet-based nonsense. However, some of the knowledge is still taught in schools, other educational institutions, and even fitness training programmes. Meh. I frequently have to correct doctors, trainers, and other health experts (who are well above my pay grade) on this subject. I just heard a coach on TV, who works for a large sports team, describe how he removes lactic acid from muscles. He undoubtedly makes a seven-figure salary. (I pound my feet and huff). Then again, we all do activities for our 'health' that were most likely devised by a druid in 237 AD.


MYTHS

Let's begin with some common myths concerning lactic acid. Which you will soon realise is entirely irrelevant!



It's why my muscles ache after exercising!



Not true.



Lactic acid accumulates after activity, causing discomfort and damage.



Not true.



I can get rid of lactic acid by eating particular meals.



Not true.



Lactic acid is nasty!



Not relevant.



Lactic acid persists in my body for an extended period of time.



Not true.



Lactic acid indicates lack of fitness.



Not true.



Lactic acid creates exercise burn.



Not true.



Blah blah blah.


FACTS

Ok time for the facts. Drum roll please!


BOMBSHELL WARNING!


Lactic acid is not even present in the human body.


WHHHHHHHAAAAATTTTT?


1. As a byproduct of anaerobic exercise or any anaerobic metabolic activity, the human body creates lactate rather than lactic acid, as well as hydrogen ions. For example, explosive exercise.


dan raynham the fitness scientist lactic acid myths science facts mythbusting debunk health exercise training wellbeing
When you feel "the burn"...it 'aint Lactic acid!

2. Lactate does not produce DOMS, 'burn', or muscle discomfort.


3. Exercise-induced muscle soreness results from a series of metabolic interactions (almost all of which are favourable). The hydrogen ions indicated above can cause discomfort.


4. Lactate disperses really quickly. We're talking minutes, not hours.



5. Lactate is efficiently'recycled' in the liver, where it is converted to pyruvate and ultimately glycogen. Muscles store energy as glycogen. Amazingness of biology! Gotta adore it! A goji berry, a massage, a fancy shake, or wrapping yourself in crystals will not do this.



6. When your body is saturated with lactate, you are forced to cease exercising, allowing your body to 'catch up'.



7. Low fitness levels, low lean muscle mass, weak kidneys, weak liver, and a high fat ratio all reduce the amount of time you can spend exercising anaerobically.



Smoking, a high fat ratio, and any level of alcohol use will all reduce lactate elimination. But to clarify, lactate does not cause muscle soreness.


Please let me know if you would want to see research papers or have any questions. Please contact me if your sports team needs to replace its fitness coaches. 😉


dan raynham the fitness scientist lactic acid myths science facts mythbusting debunk health exercise training wellbeing
Let's kick health myths in the nuts! They do nothing but cause harm!

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