Sports Med Insights: Does Lactic Acid Cause Muscle Soreness?
There is belief among athletes and active people that lactic acid is responsible for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), or the general muscle soreness experienced 1 to 2 days following intense exercise. However, this is not the case. Lactic acid is produced in our body as we break down glucose or glycogen (what our muscles use for energy) during exercise. This lactic acid production is what’s responsible for the burning sensation we experience in our muscles during high intensity exercise. The accumulation of lactic acid can be attributed to a few reasons including low muscle oxygen and the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers. First, as our exercise increases to a high intensity, we are unable to take in and process enough oxygen for our working muscles. This lack of sufficient oxygen is termed anaerobic exercise. If the exercise is to continue at this level we will soon reach a point where our blood lactic levels are high and our glucose/glycogen are low leading to muscle fatigue. Second, our muscles are made up of slow and fast twitch fibers. Slow twitch muscle fibers are used for endurance activities such as long distance running. Conversely, fast twitch fibers are use Continue reading >>