Excess lactic acid in the muscles

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Lactic acid accumulation will cause soreness in the muscles after a workout. Lactic acid is a waste product of the conversion of glycogen into energy which accumulates in the body when there is a reduced level of oxygen. This happens while performing anaerobic exercises such as weightlifting or sprints, vigorous exercises or overexerting aerobic exercises.

It is vital to condition the body with regular exercises to meet the oxygen level of the body to minimize formation of acid in the muscles. Cooling down and performing light activities and static stretches can help eliminate lactic acid.

Buildup of lactic acid during workout can result to burning sensations can be felt in the muscles that slows down or stops athletic activity.

Treatment for excess lactic acid

Lactic acid

Breathe deeply since the burning sensation felt in the muscle while performing exercises can be due to buildup of lactic acid and lack of oxygen.

  • Avoid being dehydrated. Take note that lactic acid is soluble in water, thus the individual should drink at least 8-16 oz. of water before performing a workout. Drink 8 oz. of water at least for every 20 minutes during the workout to help minimize the buildup of lactic acid. Working out excessively can lead to fluid loss and that can lead to dehydration.
  • Breathe deeply since the burning sensation felt in the muscle while performing exercises can be due to buildup of lactic acid and lack of oxygen. While exercising, be sure to breathe deeply in and out at an even speed. Breathe through the nose and exhale through the mouth since it helps in supplying oxygen to the muscles and also helps in preventing the accumulation.
  • Perform work out regularly to be physically fit and lessen the glucose that the body will burn and minimize the lactic acid build up. Work out at least several times every week and take 1-2 days of rest in order to help the muscles to recover.
  • Perform both aerobic exercises and strength training every week at least for 20-30 minutes such as walking, rowing, aerobic dance, jogging and 20-minute sessions of weight lifting every week to help lessen buildup of lactic acid in the muscle.
  • Cool down after the workout such as swimming in a slow speed. After walking, jogging and weightlifting, take a walk at slow speed for at least 5 minutes to help the heart rate return to normal and also helps in eliminating lactic acid buildup.
  • After cooling down, perform static stretches. Stretch the muscles that are frequently used. You can place one foot on a bench and lean over from the waist and then take hold of the foot as long as possible at least for 10 counts. It helps in stretching the hamstrings and eliminates excess lactic acids in the muscles.
  • Increase the intake of magnesium which helps the body provide energy to the muscles while performing exercises and minimizes the buildup. Foods rich in magnesium are turnip greens and green beans, navy beans, kidney beans and sesame seeds.
  • Take a bath using Epsom salts in order to help relieve the muscle soreness.
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  • All canadianfirstaid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.