By Christina | March 23, 2008
To try and avoid lactic acid burn you need to understand how and why it accumulates in the muscles. When glucose is burned for fuel during exercise, it is broken down into pyruvates. When you are working at a low intensities, there is enough oxygen to easily convert pyruvate to carbon dioxide and water, which are removed by the lungs. When you are working at a very high intensity, however, there is not enough oxygen to convert all the pyruvate to carbon dioxide and water. This results in some of the pyruvatebeing converted to lactic acid, which then builds up in the muscles and overflows into the bloodstream. Lactic acid causes the burning felt in muscles during high intensity exercise and also prevents muscles from working their best.
One way to battle lactic acid build up is to remain well-hydrated at all times. This means hydrating before, during, and after exercise sessions. Another way to reduce the build up is to workout in intervals. Your training routine should include some interval training two to three days per week. An interval training session consists of high intensity mixed with moderate intensity periods. Your body will learn how to reduce the level of the lactic acid that is created through the alternating high intensity workouts in interval training. This training of the systems will allow you to continue at a higher intensity for a longer duration without feeling the negative effects of the lactic acid building up in your muscles.
The combination of hydration and appropriate training practices will allow you to function at a high intensity without allowing lactic acid to limit your performance.