While many of us go to the gym or run to recover from a bad season, You may notice a little more muscle soreness. This is especially true if some time has passed between workouts.
A common misconception is that this pain is due to a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. However, Research shows that lactic acid has no nothing to do with this . The truth is much more interesting, but also a little more complicated.
We’ve known for decades that lactic acid has nothing to do with post-workout muscle soreness.
In fact, as one of us (Robert Andrew Roberges) argued long ago, Cells produce lactate, not lactic acid. This process does not actually prevent acid from building up in the muscles and bloodstream.
Unfortunately, Historical inertia means that people still use the term “lactic acid” in relation to exercise.
Lactate does not cause serious problems in the muscles you use during exercise. I probably would worst without it because of the other benefits to the working muscles.
Lactate is not the cause It hurts a few days after gaining weight or exercising after a long break.
So, if it’s not lactic acid or lactate, What’s causing all this muscle pain?
When you exercise, many chemical reactions occur in your muscle cells. All of these chemical reactions accumulate products and by-products that cause water to enter the cells.
What is he doing Increase pressure within and between muscle cells.
This pressure combined with the movement of molecules in muscle cells can stimulate nerve endings and cause inconvenience during exercise.
The pain and discomfort you sometimes feel hours or days after an unfamiliar type or amount of exercise has a different list of causes.
If you exercise beyond your normal level or regimen, it can cause microscopic damage. your muscles and their connections with tendons. This damage causes the release of ions and other molecules from the muscles, causing local swelling and stimulation of nerve endings.
This is sometimes called “delayed onset muscle disease” or DOMS.
Although damage occurs during exercise, The resulting trauma response develops over the next one to two days. (longer if the damage is serious). This can sometimes cause pain and difficulty moving normally.
The research is clear: Discomfort caused by delayed onset muscle pain has nothing to do with lactate or lactic acid .
However, the good news is that your muscles quickly adapt to activities that may initially cause long-term muscle soreness.
So, if you don’t wait too long (more than two weeks) before getting active again, there will be much less damage and discomfort the next time you do the same activity.
If you have a goal to exercise (such as hiking or running a half marathon), Make sure it’s realistic and that you can achieve it with a few months of training.
This type of training gradually develops the muscle adaptations needed to prevent long-term muscle soreness. And the lack of harm from training makes the process more enjoyable and makes it easier to stick to a daily routine or habit.
Finally, eliminate the word “lactic acid” from your exercise vocabulary. Its supposed role in muscle pain is a myth that has persisted for far too long.
*Robert Andrew RobergesAssociate Professor, Exercise Physiology, Queensland University of Technology
**Samuel L. TorrancePhD candidate, Queensland University of Technology