Is lactic acid really that bad?

I am a swimmer and our coach always makes us cool down after a workout. He says that lactic acid stunts muscle growth. But then somedays after a really tough workout we don't even cool down. Is lactic acid really that bad and if it is, what can I do to get rid of it when we don't cool down after practice?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
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    Several items need to clarified --

    Lactic acid (LA) used to be seen as something that was a bad thing in the sense that after an intense workout you will have a buildup of LA in your muscles. By going thru a cool down cycle at the end of your workout, this will help slowly work the LA out of the muscles.

    LA does not stunt the muscle growth.

    LA will give a very temporary burning sensation when you are exercising but as soon as you stop, the burning will stop.

    LA DOES NOT cause the break down of the muscle fibers. The workout itself will result in microtears of the muscle fibers and this will result in the muscle repairing itself and then adding more muscle to "protect" against future microtears. The goal of each workout is to place microtears in the muscle to cause this repair/ reinforcing of the muscle tissue and this is also why we must allow the body to fully recover.

    LA is formed, in short, due to the body producing large amounts of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) - this provides this initial energy when a phosphate is released.. During intense excercise, ATP is being produced very rapidly and will give off free hydrogen atoms which lowers the pH in the body (acidosis). This process eventually leads to anaerobic metabolism in which there is the formation of lactic acid. There are two other key elements to this...

    -- The more carbs that you use for energy, the more lactic acid you will produce as glucose and glycogen are major players.

    -- There is new research that is being generically brought out giving light that the lactic acid might be absorbed and converted to a fuel by the mitochondria of the cells.

    Bottom line, if you don't cool down, just keep moving/ stretching for about 5 minutes after you are done and you will be fine.

    Good luck!!

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  • 3 years ago

    Is Lactic Acid Bad

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There is no medical evidence to support the notion that lactic acid 'stunts' muscle growth. It's a natural byproduct of anaerobic metabolism (i.e., when your muscles are still working, but have temporarily run out of oxygen).

    While lactic acid is painful (it's what causes much of the soreness after strenuous exercise), in healthy people, it hasn't been shown to stop growth. On the other hand, it does tell you that you've been pushing your muscles too hard, so make sure to be careful when exercising, stretch before and after, and give your muscles a chance to catch up with you!

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Is lactic acid really that bad?

    I am a swimmer and our coach always makes us cool down after a workout. He says that lactic acid stunts muscle growth. But then somedays after a really tough workout we don't even cool down. Is lactic acid really that bad and if it is, what can I do to get rid of it when we don't cool down...

    Source(s): lactic acid bad: https://tr.im/oD7ip
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  • 1 decade ago

    Stretching and drinking lots of water keeps the acid at bay.

    I have never heard that lactic acid stunts growth, but its what makes you sore. You can also look at it as a toxin in your body that you want to get rid of...no toxins are good. And as a swimmer, you want lean muscle tone, so stretching is what's going to help you achieve that. Not stretching is going to cause more bulk. So no matter what, you want to stretch and get rid of the lactic acid and elongate your muscles.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Lactic acid is caused by your body not getting enough oxygen to your cells for respiration. Some lactic acid is good, but you have to be able to get rid of it. I've found that deep breathing helps, also try swimming a slow length of the pool.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I know people don't like lactic acid, but it does NOT stunt muscle growth. It does the opposite.

    Lactic acid causes the "burn" you feel in your muscles after a workout. It helps to break-down your muscle and consequently allow it to build back up (you can't build muscle without tearing muscle fibers).

    The very fact that your coach thinks that lactic acid does the exact opposite of what it actually does says that you should talk to his employer (school, program, whatever) and bring up the fact that their swim coach doesn't know a thing about the human body, and even goes against his own advice (how you don't even cool down sometimes).

    As for getting rid of it, it gets rid of itself. Drink plenty of water to help it along, but outside of that, don't worry about it. Enjoy the burn!

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  • 1 decade ago

    lactic acid does not stunt muscle growth, in reality is is needed as it triggers the release of growth hormone and IGF-1.

    creatine supplementation will help to buffer lactic acid production if you are having problems with endurance in your sport.

    Source(s): BS Exercise Science IFPA Certified Master Trainer 25+ years of resistance training experience 17 years of martial arts training
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it will have no affect on your growth thats a myth and your coach sounds like an idiot for believing it arent these people supposed to be qualified?

    lactic acid doesnt hurt your body in any way just makes your body feel strange

    strawberry knows what she is talking about

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  • 1 decade ago

    naw its actually good its like a signal to our muscles to stop in order to protect ur muscles from damage

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