BBJ Fitness Corner | Lactic acid and exercise intensity | Sports
A BETTER understanding of lactic acid and how it relates to the intensity of your exercise program can help you reach your fitness goal, said Jerry Diaz, National Academy Certified Personal Trainer of Sports Medicine.
Exercise has many well-known benefits such as weight loss, muscle mass, improved mood and energy levels, and reduced risk of chronic disease.
But Diaz said the wrong level of intensity could lead to muscle pain, rapid breathing, nausea or stomach pain that is a result of lactic acid build-up.
It happens when too much lactic acid builds up in your bloodstream. The most common cause is strenuous exercise to which an individual’s body is still adjusting.
“When exercising, it’s important to avoid overtraining,” Diaz said. “Overtraining can lead to increased lactic acid build-up and injury. This can lead to uncomfortable, sore and sore muscles.
Diaz added, “During strenuous exercise or activity, when an individual begins to feel the signs of a build-up of lactic acid, this is a clue that their body needs to slow down and rest.”
During strenuous exercise, the body uses oxygen to break down glucose for energy. If there isn’t enough oxygen to complete the process, lactate is produced, Diaz said.
Each individual body can convert this lactate into energy without using oxygen. However, lactate can also build up in your bloodstream sooner than you can burn it off, Diaz said.
To avoid unnecessary build-up of lactic acid, one should approach an exercise program or routine in moderation, he added.
As the saying goes, Diaz once said, don’t go from a couch potato trying to run a marathon in a week.
“Start your exercise with a moderate approach that your body can tolerate without being painful for more than three days,” he added. “Increase the level of exercise every week so that your body can develop a stable tolerance.”
Hydration can prevent excess lactic acid build-up, Diaz said.
He recommends a balanced nutritional intake including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
Getting enough rest at night and giving the body time to recover between scheduled exercises is also strongly recommended, he added.
“You have to remember to listen to your body – the length of recovery depends on how each person feels,” Diaz said.
Remember: stay hydrated, rest between workouts, perform dynamic breathing techniques and warm-ups.
For professional sports nutrition inquiries, contact Jerry Diaz via Instagram at @BBJ_Athletics or Facebook.