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.
· 1 decade ago