How to Reduce Lactic Acid for a Better Workouts and Less Pain

Intense exercise or physical activity

A temporary buildup of lactic acid can be caused by vigorous exercise if your body doesn’t have enough available oxygen to break down glucose in the blood. This can cause a burning feeling in the muscle groups you’re using. It can also cause nausea and weakness.

During an intense exercise, like sprinting or lifting heavy weights, your body requires more energy than normal to keep the muscles functioning. In this case, the body metabolizes glucose to deliver energy to the muscles.

The metabolized glucose, called pyruvate, is converted into lactate. When lactate accumulates at high levels in the blood and muscles, it creates acidity called lactic acidosis, which causes muscle fatigue and at high levels can interfere with muscle recovery. The accumulation of lactic acid can cause burning sensations that can disturb your athletic activities.

What’s the solution to lactic acid build up?

There is a solution to almost everything and lactic acid buildup too can be tackled easily. Here are some precautions you can take to reduce the buildup of lactic acid.

Step 1 – Drink more and more water!

Drink water or an electrolyte-replacement drink, which can play a vital role in preventing buildup of water-soluble lactic acid. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. By then, you’re likely already dehydrated. The American Council on Exercise recommends hydrating with 16 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before a workout and then 7 to 10 additional ounces of water for every 20 to 30 minutes of exercise.

  • Drink at least 12 glasses of water daily if you want to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
  • Breathe deeply during your workout and try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Step 2 – Work out regularly!

The key to healthy and beneficial exercise is maintaining consistent activity. If you want to be physically fit, you need to exercise frequently. This will make your body adaptive to additional energy production and you will require less glucose to burn for energy, which eventually means less lactic acid buildup.

  • A physically fit person has a higher lactate threshold, a measure of blood vessel and heart fitness.
  • Working out several times a week is a must but giving your muscles rest for a day or two does wonders.

Step 3 – Accelerate your workout gradually!

While it is true that keeping yourself motivated to exercise on a daily basis is the key to a healthy lifestyle but, forcing your muscles beyond their capacity can result negatively. Excessive workout every day without any routine or cycle can cause severe muscle soreness.

  • Make sure to stay challenged, but don’t increase intensity too fast or all at once.
  • Add weight, repetitions, minutes or miles gradually over a set period of time to maintain healthy levels of lactic acid.

Step 4 – Know when to back off!

As much as we stress on consistent workout and keeping yourself motivated enough to bring out desired results, you must know when to back off. As you start to feel your muscles burn or you struggle to breathe, slow down until you catch your breath, so your body can deliver more oxygen to the muscles. Moreover, alternate periods of activity with periods of active and inactive rest as appropriate.

  • Be extremely cautious when lifting weights as this activity causes more lactic acid buildup.
  • Increase your weightlifting period gradually by keeping in considerations the weights and repetitions.

Step 5 – Stretch after intense workout!

Stretch immediately after your workout. Stretching after workout helps release lactic acid and gives an immediate relief to your muscles preventing them from lactic acid buildup and muscle soreness.

  • Lactic acid can take around 30 minutes to an hour to disperse post-workout, so make sure to cool down appropriately and stretch right after.
  • It is even recommended by various sports medicine experts to stretch after a prolonged workout to reduce the buildup of lactic acid.

Step 6 – Use a foam roller to massage the muscles!

Using a foam roller on your muscles loosens tight muscles and reduces the buildup of lactic acid as this act stimulates blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage.

  • You can also massage your muscles with a foam roller before an intense workout.
  • Applying foam roller on your muscles can be done regularly for relief and relaxation.

Step 7 – Reduce lactic acid buildup through diet!

Apart from above-mentioned steps, including certain foods into your daily diet can help control lactic acid buildup to avoid lactic acidosis. As per what the experts say, foods and vegetables with magnesium, fatty acids, and B vitamins are recommended.

  • Foods rich in Vitamin B are leafy green vegetables, cereals, peas and beans, fish, beef, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
  • Vegetables such as Spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, navy beans, kidney beans and seeds such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are great sources of magnesium.



Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning or “cardio.” During cardiovascular conditioning, your breathing and heart rate increase for a sustained period of time. Examples of aerobic exercise include swimming laps, running, or cycling.

Anaerobic exercises involve quick bursts of energy and are performed at maximum effort for a short time. Examples include jumping, sprinting, or heavy weight lifting.

Your respiration and heart rate differ in aerobic activities versus anaerobic ones. Oxygen is your main energy source during aerobic workouts.

During aerobic exercise, you breathe faster and deeper than when your heart rate is at rest. You’re maximizing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Your heart rate goes up, increasing blood flow to the muscles and back to the lungs.

During anaerobic exercise, your body requires immediate energy. Your body relies on stored energy sources, rather than oxygen, to fuel itself. That includes breaking down glucose.

Your fitness goals should help determine whether you should participate in aerobic or anaerobic exercise. If you’re new to exercise, you might want to start with aerobic exercises to build up endurance.

If you’ve been exercising a long time or are trying to lose weight quickly, add anaerobic workouts into your routine. Sprints or high intensity interval training (HIIT) may help you meet your goals.

Benefits of aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise can offer numerous benefits for your health, including reducing your risk of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, or a stroke.

Other benefits of aerobic exercise include:

  • can help you lose weight and keep it off
  • may help lower and control blood pressure
  • may increase your stamina and reduce fatigue during exercise
  • activates immune systems, making you less likely to get colds or the flu
  • strengthens your heart
  • boosts mood
  • may help you live longer than those who don’t exercise

Risks of aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise can benefit almost anyone. But get your doctor’s approval if you’ve been inactive for a long time or live with a chronic condition.

If you’re new to aerobic exercise, it’s important to start slowly and work up gradually to reduce your risk of an injury. For example, start by walking 5 minutes at a time and add 5 minutes each time until you’re up to a 30-minute brisk walk.

Examples of aerobic exercise

During aerobic activities, you’ll move large muscles in your arms, legs, and hips. Your heart rate will also go up for a sustained period of time.

Examples of aerobic exercises include:

  • jogging
  • brisk walking
  • swimming laps
  • aerobic dancing
  • cross-country skiing
  • stair climbing
  • cycling
  • elliptical training
  • rowing

Benefits of anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise can be beneficial if you’re looking to build muscle or lose weight. It can also be beneficial if you’ve been exercising for a long time, and are looking to push through an exercise plateau and meet a new goal. It may also help you maintain muscle mass as you age.

Other benefits include:

  • strengthens bones
  • burns fat
  • builds muscle
  • increases stamina for daily activities like hiking, dancing, or playing with kids

Risks of anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise can be hard on your body. On a 1 to10 scale for perceived exertion, high intensity anaerobic exercise is anything over a seven. It’s not typically recommended for fitness beginners.

Get your doctor’s approval before adding anaerobic workouts to your routine. Work with a certified fitness professional who can help you create an anaerobic program based on your medical history and goals.

For workouts like HIIT and weight training, a fitness professional can also demonstrate the correct exercise techniques. Performing the exercises with proper technique is important for preventing an injury.

Examples of anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercises are performed at maximum effort for a shorter period of time.

Examples include:

  • high intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • heavy weight lifting
  • calisthenics, like plyometrics, jump squats, or box jumps
  • sprinting (while running, cycling, or swimming)

How often should you do aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise?

The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 days a week. You can also add in strength training two times a week to round out your routine.

Anaerobic exercises can be taxing on the body. With a doctor’s approval and the help of a certified fitness professional, anaerobic exercises can be added into your weekly exercise routine.

Perform anaerobic exercise like HIIT workouts no more than two or three days each week, always allowing for at least one full day of recovery

Setting Goals in Fitness

Setting Fitness Goals is very important for your fitness progress. Make sure that your goals set are realistic and achievable.

Firm & Tone
A Firm and Tone goal is related more to a look aspect and is accomplished by decreasing body fat and increases of your lean tissues so your body get a harder-healthier look. Continue reading Setting Goals in Fitness

Exercise: In Women, Training for a Sharper Mind

Older women who did an hour or two of strength training exercises each week had improved cognitive function a year later, scoring higher on tests of the brain processes responsible for planning and executing tasks, a new study has found.

Researchers in British Columbia randomly assigned 155 women ages 65 to 75 either to strength training with dumbbells and weight machines once or twice a week, or to a comparison group doing balance and toning exercises. Continue reading Exercise: In Women, Training for a Sharper Mind