It’s not the lactic acid that forces you and your muscles to slow down or stop, it’s a build up of hydrogen ions (H+) making the muscle cells more acidic. In a process called Anaerobic Glycolysis carbohydrates are broken down to provide energy creating Pyruvate and Hydrogen ions (H+).
When there is insufficient oxygen pyruvate is broken down into lactate. Lactate is directly used by the surrounding muscle for energy with excess lactic acid entering the blood stream where it is used by the heart muscle for fuel and also resynthesized by the liver to form glucose that provides more energy (Cori Cycle), sounds good to me. In fact 65% of lactic acid is converted to carbon dioxide and water, 20% into glycogen, 10% into Protein and 5% into glucose.
Now back to those H+ ions. The carrier molecule NAD+ has the job of removing the H+ forming NADH and delivering the H+ to the Electron Transport Chain (ETC) gate to produce more energy. If there is not enough oxygen NAD+ cannot keep up and the H+ ions build up in the cell increasing the acidity which leads to impaired muscle contractions. This low ph also stimulates free nerve endings causing that burning sensation you feel. This point is know as the lactate or anabolic threshold. The accumulation of hydrogen ions is the limiting factor causing fatigue.
So what’s wrong with having a low lactate threshold? A low lactate threshold indicates that your muscles are not working very well. This means you do not get enough oxygen into your muscle cells, you do not have enough enzymes necessary to oxidise pyruvate or have enough mitochondria in your muscles. So your muscles, such as your heart, organs and other tissues are not very good at extracting lactate. A roadblock to optimal performance. Lactate threshold can be improved with specific training.
We call the BNM Elite program training with purpose, because we don’t do just workouts focused on burning maximum calories. At BNM we focus on improving human performance which ultimately means clients can work/train harder and longer therefore burning more calories, getting stronger, leaner and healthier.
By understanding the science behind optimal training and programming we enhance the performance of all the bodies energy systems, Anaerobic, Glycolytic or Lactate and Aerobic. Because our clients have improved energy systems they are able to train at a higher level in the strength and conditioning components of the Elite program, ultimately burning more calories due to their greater work capacity.
At BNM we understand the science and take a holistic approach to our clients training to make them the best functioning humans possible, it’s the big picture perspective we take that leads to amazing changes in body composition, strength, energy and performance because we take this holistic approach.
If you are ready to improve your performance not just burn a few calories then we would love to show you how to become the best performing human possible! firstname.lastname@example.org