Lactic Acid Buildup and Muscle Soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness — What your should and shouldn’t do!

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Lactic acid build up is the byproduct of a process called glycolysis, the metabolic process in which muscles break down glucose to use as fuel. Actually, lactic acid build up is not the primary source of delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS is primarily the result of micro damage in the form of microscopic tears to the myofibrils, small contractile units within the muscle. According to Medicine.

Net, lactic acid is removed from the muscle within the first several hours up to 24 hours after the workout.  

The Role of Lactic Acid
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Although lactic acid is not the root source of DOMS, its presence can agitate the soreness. The body’s preferred method of generating energy is through an aerobic process in which oxygen is converted to energy, but in instances in which high intensity activity is required in a short burst, the body cannot covert oxygen quickly enough, subsequently the body defaults to a process called glycolysis, in which glucose is metabolized into a substance known as pyruvate. According to Scientific America, lactic acid build up is responsible for that burning sensation you receive during your last several reps of a strenuous exercise. 
Lingering Lactic Residue
Although lactic acid does not cause DOMS, it can agitate it. Because DOMS results from microscopic tears in the muscle the presence of acidic fluids such as lactic acid can exacerbate the situation. One way to reduce lactic acid residue is through deep tissue messages, also known as flushes in the athletic world. After flushing your muscles lactic acid will be passed through the bladder. The buildup of lactic acid also slows the entire glycolytic process, this is why you experience muscle fatigue during high intensity workouts.
The True Source of Your Pain
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Dr. Rick Wallace
According to Scientific American, the postulation that lactic acid causes DOMS is erroneous and unfounded. Soreness is the climactic result of the body’s natural strengthening system. When muscles are placed under loads greater than they are accustomed to, they experience micro damage. Once the activity is completed, the body begins the healing and rebuilding process, which includes inflammation and swelling that lead to soreness. This soreness normally peaks within 24-48 hours after the exercise and completely subsides within the first seven days.
Rest and Recovery
It is important to allow the body’s natural healing process to move through its complete cycle. Working your muscles too quickly after an intense session is counterproductive, not to mention that it could lead to serious injury of the muscle. Give your muscles at least a full 48 hours to recover. According to Elite Fitness, it is extremely important to get plenty of rest to aid the healing process. You should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. ~ by Dr. Rick Wallace 

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