New news on lactic acid

(via DubiousQuality)

Well, this certainly falls far outside of most things I like writing about here, but I figure this comes in under some kind of science header.  Not that I need anything more than to find an article of interest to me to post it.  But still, I like to keep consistent in the kinds of drivel I post here.

Rambling out of the way, check out this article at the New York Times web site about the latest on lactic acid.  Given that it’s at NYTimes’ web site, registration is required.  To feed your interest, here’s a snippet:

Everyone who has even thought about exercising has heard the warnings about lactic acid. It builds up in your muscles. It is what makes your muscles burn. Its buildup is what makes your muscles tire and give out.

. . .

Lactic acid is actually a fuel, not a caustic waste product. Muscles make it deliberately, producing it from glucose, and they burn it to obtain energy. The reason trained athletes can perform so hard and so long is because their intense training causes their muscles to adapt so they more readily and efficiently absorb lactic acid.

. . .

Few scientists questioned this view, Dr. Brooks said. But, he said, he became interested in it in the 1960’s, when he was running track at Queens College and his coach told him that his performance was limited by a buildup of lactic acid.

When he graduated and began working on a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, he decided to study the lactic acid hypothesis for his dissertation.

“I gave rats radioactive lactic acid, and I found that they burned it faster than anything else I could give them,” Dr. Brooks said.

Hmmmmm.  So it looks like lactic acid is actually supposed to be there.  It helps you perform better.  So, here’s that link again – read why what you know about lactic acid is wrong.

[tags]Lactic acid, exercise[/tags]