Does lactic acid really cause muscle soreness?. By Jessica Vanderlelie
Senior lecturer in biochemisty, Griffith University
Does lactic acid really cause muscle soreness?
"Lactic acid is commonly blamed for the sore muscles we experience after exercising.
But in fact, our muscles don’t produce lactic acid. Instead, they produce the compound lactate, which isn’t an acid at all—its production actually helps to remove acid from our cells and provides a valuable source of energy for our heart and other tissues when it leaves our muscles.
A major cause of the pain we feel is the acid released by the breakdown of ATP—the stuff that powers muscular contraction—combined with damage to muscle fibres, and other factors.
So, while we do build up acid in our blood during intense exercise, it’s not lactate that causes us pain. It just gets the blame because when acid leaves the muscle, it moves out of the cell with lactate. In effect, lactate’s just moving with the wrong crowd, and not the bad guy after all."
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Tags: Does lactic acid really cause muscle soreness?, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan, Lactic Acid (Chemical Compound), Research (Industry), Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (Symptom), Muscle (Anatomical Structure), Health (Industry), Acid (Chemical Classification), Biochemistry (Field Of Study)