Do you know that lactic acid in muscles causes burning during exercise? From it, the muscles can hurt even after exercise. This is a specific sensation that is familiar to anyone who has ever taken up gravity. Burning and pain are the main symptoms of the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles.
Bit of theory
To begin with, the universal source of energy for the body is glucose. Using the enzyme system of the body, it is oxidized to water molecules and carbon dioxide through the formation of intermediate substances. In this case, the same energy is released, thanks to which we live.
There are several processes of glucose decomposition: this is glycolysis, aerobic breakdown of glucose, etc. This is not about that now, we are not in a biochemistry lesson. These processes differ, in particular, the presence of certain intermediate products.
Enzymes are protein-assisting molecules that repeatedly accelerate all biochemical reactions in the cells of our body.
By the way, glucose processing occurs in every cell. After all, each cell behaves as an independent structure, capable of providing itself like an accomplished man. She receives “income” in the form of nutrients and “spends” it on her needs in order to live well and comfortably. Unless in the cell, everything is much more complicated.
Man is an aerobic organism. That is, we cannot live without air. We need oxygen to break down glucose. But some of our cells learned to live for a short time without oxygen.
Therefore, there is an aerobic way of splitting glucose, with the formation, for example, of pyruvic acid (or pyruvate), and anaerobic - with the formation of lactate (the very lactic acid in question). Muscles produce energy in this way during heavy physical exertion, when oxygen supply is difficult, but it is necessary to work.
Usually, the process of excretion of lactate from the muscles is ahead of its accumulation. If you experience a burning sensation, then these are symptoms of the fact that lactic acid accumulates more than it is excreted.
Lactate is an acid, it acidifies the environment in which it is located. The receptors on muscle cells are irritated, and we feel that very familiar burning sensation.
On the Internet you can find information that lactate is an ion of lactic acid. Remember that in biochemistry lactate is usually called lactic acid itself.
Burning during training
Burning occurs quite quickly in the first training session. Over time, the body adapts to the load and organizes a biochemical machine so that lactate is quickly removed from the muscles. And the receptors do not have time to react to its high concentration.
Thus, an experienced athlete either feels a short-term burning sensation, or does not feel it at all.
They say that working through such an unpleasant sensation in the muscles develops stamina. This is a true opinion, but you can also develop endurance in another way - regularity, increasing the load time each workout. In this case, you do not need to endure a long burning sensation. Over time, this will help you get rid of the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles.
Burning does not stimulate the growth of muscle fiber. Burning in this case - does not mean growing. It’s just that your myofibrils “eat” and secrete ATP in order to contract further.
By the way, so that your muscles work more efficiently, before training, stock up on carbohydrates. In other words, have a snack. Then the load will be more efficient.
If your goal is not weight gain, but weight loss, you can use your internal reserves as a reserve. But remember, training will be much harder. First, you will noticeably run out of glycogen in your muscles and liver, and then fat will begin to be consumed. To restore resources, you still need to consume carbohydrates, only in smaller quantities.
To increase stamina, some athletes take creatine, or ready-made lactic acid. Most often they use creatine.
Lactic acid in the muscles causes a rather strong burning sensation. And the further you work with this burning sensation, the stronger will be the pain we want to get rid of.
If you feel your muscles are souring, take a longer rest after exercise. If burning often occurs and begins already in 3-4 repetitions, before training and during it, eat something containing fast carbohydrates. It can be ordinary food or a special sports drink.
If you want to build muscle, burning during training is your enemy. Try to keep it as rare as possible.
Sleep and proper nutrition restore glycogen reserves in the body. And this is the key to a successful workout. If you do not get enough sleep or are hungry for classes in the gym, you simply will not have the strength, and burning will occur very early.
Muscle pain after training
If a lot of lactate has accumulated (and this happens when you give a very large and unusual muscle load), the pain appears 3-4 hours after training, and intensifies the next day, when the microfractures of muscle fibers begin to inflame.
The main cause of this pain is not lactic acid (it is gradually washed away by the bloodstream), but microtrauma of muscle fibers. This is a normal occurrence during strength training. When healed, the muscle becomes bulkier and stronger.
Specific pain within 1–2 days after a heavy load indicates that your muscles are growing.
And lactic acid is an intermediate product of anaerobic breakdown of glucose. It causes a burning sensation in the muscles during training and may cause you discomfort after some time. It does not affect muscle growth, but interferes with work.
How to reduce the period of pain and burning
Nutrition, sleep, charging
Some bodybuilders report that the duration of such pain can be drastically reduced if you take glutamine as supplements. We would add L-carnitine to it, which helps to deliver glucose molecules to the muscles faster, breaking down fat cells. And creatine - it significantly increases the rate of excretion of lactic acid from the muscles.
Consume the amount of BJU your body needs. Sleep enough hours. Warm up at home after training. To remove lactic acid from the muscles, you need to “disperse” it through the body with blood.
Drink plenty of water. Blood becomes less viscous and more easily disperses throughout the body, quickly “washing” all its parts, which also helps to get rid of pain.
Saunas, hot baths
To get rid of lactic acid, you can visit the saunas. It is an effective treatment for pain and burning. If your body tolerates elevated ambient temperatures well, this option is for you. You can sit in the sauna after a workout.
It is advisable to have a pool with not too cool water nearby. It is very convenient and pleasant to dive into it after the sauna, cool the body and warm again in the sauna.
Instead of a sauna, you can use a hot bath. Pour there sea salt, lie down for about 10 minutes. If you need to cool the body - use cool water.
The above measures accelerate the withdrawal of lactic acid from the body and tone up your blood vessels. This will help you not only quickly get rid of lactate, but also improve your well-being.
Any massage therapist knows how to remove lactic acid from the muscles. Massage immediately after training not only helps to relax tense muscles, but can also point out lactic acid from them.
Do massage after training, it will significantly improve your well-being. We do not recommend getting massage therapists close to your neck. Make sure he has a medical background, not just a certificate after a 30-day massage cycle.
The training regimen is the prevention and treatment of muscle pain.
Attention to beginners! In order not to spoil the impression of the gym after the first visit, dose the load.
First, start with small weights. Let them be easy for you. Your task is to learn the correct technique. Then you will build weight and work to increase the volume of your muscles.
Secondly, pay attention to the number of repetitions. Negative muscle easily drown in lactate after 3 approaches, consisting of 10 repetitions. Therefore, do 2 approaches. Perhaps the trainer will tell you to do exactly 3, or even 4.
Here is an example of the classic mistakes of trainers in a fitness club. A newcomer came who had never before been involved. There is no muscle, no mass, no strength either. And the coach offers him:
- Bench press 3 sets of 10 times.
- Bench press on an inclined bench 3 sets of 12 times.
- Breeding dumbbells ... Wait, he already has no strength. No forces!
Instead of an empty neck, the coach hung another 10 kg, because 20 is too little, in his opinion. He is a coach.
As a result, the guy does everything as he can. And just as many times as he was told. And then a week falls out of life. Unfortunately, this is common.
The first month of training, learn the technique, strengthen the ligaments with small weights. The first training session (and the second one) is followed by 2 approaches in all exercises. And if you want to prepare for the summer in a month - then just stay home.