Unraveling Lactic Acid: Debunking the Myths Part I

Unraveling Lactic Acid: Debunking the Myths Part I

Anyone who has ever picked up a magazine or watched a broadcast of a live sports event has undoubtedly heard of  lactic acid. Lactic acid is often considered an athlete's worst enemy. But in reality, it is one of the most important substances in our metabolism, actually delaying fatigue rather than causing it. This post marks the start of our first series - Unravelling Lactic Acid, in which we will dissect the physiology behind its production; separating facts from fiction and discussing its practical relevance in training. MYTH # 1: LACTATE IS PRODUCED WHEN OUR BODY RUNS OUT OF OXYGEN Lactic acid, more correctly termed lactate, is a product of our anaerobic (glycolytic) metabolism, a sequence of chemical reactions which partially break down glucose without the use of oxygen. Contrary to popular belief, and for reasons which shall be addressed later in this series, our bodies are constantly using our anaerobic metabolism and therefore constantly produce lactate. Given that lactate is produced when we use...
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