Receive 10% Off

Clearing up the Lactic Acid Myth

by Dr. Jason Barker December 17, 2014

Clearing up the Lactic Acid Myth


The Truth About Lactic Acid

A long-held notion is that "lactic acid causes muscle soreness". Despite being disproved in the late 70’s, people still love to tout it as the reason for their painful muscles.

Lactic acid is actually a fuel that the muscles actually burn. It’s a help, rather than a hindrance.

Working muscles convert glucose (sugar) or glycogen into it as a byproduct of metabolism. The lactic acid is then taken up and burned further by the cell’s mitochondria – the powerhouses of the cells. 

Lactic acid doesn’t ‘build up’ in the muscles causing fatigue. In fact, the muscles ravenously consume it for energy. Nor does it cause the notorious ‘burn’ that people feel at the height of exertion.

Training close to the ‘lactate threshold’ as its known, increases the mitochondria’s efficiency at using up the lactate. This teaches the muscles to burn more of it, thereby allowing them to work harder and longer.

It’s a neat physiologic trick, in that the muscles burn glucose first, and then burn the ‘leftovers’ of glucose. Think of it as the ultimate in energy recycling.

The idea that lactic acid is a caustic waste product was created a century ago. It’s taken many studies to disprove this, yet this notion still hangs on in popular culture.

Oh and next time your muscles are sore a day or more later following a workout; it’s not from the lactic acid. While scientists know that it ISN”T lactic acid, they don’t exactly know what the cause is. More than likely, the pain is a result of micro tears in the muscle. This is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.  Using natural anti-inflammatories like arnica can relieve DOMS.

T-Relief Ointment is a favorite among athletes for relieve post-exercise soreness. 

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Natural Athlete Solutions

Adrenal Energy for HPA Axis dysfunction
Adrenal Energy: Effective Adrenal Gland Support

by Dr. Jason Barker

Adrenal Energy is  The Natural Athlete Clinic's exciting new formula that features a comprehensive blend of nutrients and botanical extracts for supporting HPA axis dysfunction (adrenal fatigue).
Read More
Five Ways to Prevent Injury
Five Ways to Prevent Injury

by Dr. Jason Barker

Here are the top 5 most important things you need to do to prevent injury.  Be sure to incorporate these tried and true suggestions as part of your regimen.
Read More
How To Prevent Muscle Cramps
How To Prevent Muscle Cramps

by Dr. Jason Barker

Muscle cramps have several causes - here's how to prevent cramps and how to deal with muscle cramps once you have them. 
Read More