When it comes to working out, it’s super important to avoid overexertion. This is because putting too much stress on the muscles not only leads to injury but can also lead to the build-up of lactic acid. Although this build-up is temporary, it can have a detrimental effect on your workouts in the short term by causing lots of discomfort.
What is lactic acid?
Lactic acid is the waste product produced during anaerobic respiration. When you work out, lactic acid builds up in the muscles and can lead to painful cramps.
How do you get rid of it?
1. Drink water
Staying hydrated is key to ridding your body of lactic acid because it can replenish lost fluids, relieve muscle cramps, and ensure that your body works at optimum levels.
Oxygen reacts with the lactic acid in your muscles, breaking it down to make carbon dioxide and water. The more oxygen you breathe in, the faster the lactic acid will break down. Practice breathing in through our nose and out through our mouth as you exercise to boost your oxygen intake.
Resting between workouts is key to reducing lactic acid build-up, this is because it gives the body the opportunity to break it down and remove it as a waste product.
4. Always stretch
Warmups and cooldowns are essential to boosting circulation, increasing flexibility and relieving tension in the body. In turn, this allows more oxygen to reach the muscles which help to reduce lactic acid build-up.
Sleep is key to maintaining a healthy workout schedule and reducing lactic acid build-up. As we rest, our bodies repair any damage done to the muscles during the day, so it is vital that we get the right amount of sleep to enable our bodies to work at their best.
Prevention is better than cure
Of course, the best way to deal with lactic acid is to take steps to prevent it from building up in the first place.
Firstly, always start a new workout routine slowly and build up over time. This will allow your body time to adjust to the production of lactic acid. Always eat a snack before and after exercising to boost energy levels and prevent soreness. Choose foods that are high in potassium, B vitamins, and complex carbohydrates. Finally, vary your routine to include plenty of anaerobic and aerobic exercises to allow your body time to adjust to the different levels of lactic acid for each exercise.
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