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Does Lactic Acid Cause Muscle Soreness?

Many people claim that lactic acid causes muscle soreness as well as the burning sensation you feel when exercising – particularly during strength training. So does lactic acid cause muscle soreness or is it a medical myth?

The answer is – it is a myth. Lactic acid does not cause muscle soreness.

Many people blame lactic acid for the pain, burn and soreness because of a lack of understanding how the body works. One of the main energy sources used when exercising is called ATP. The body only has limited supplies of ATP. Once it is tapped out, the body attempts to re-synthesize it – this is where lactic acid comes into play.

To make a long story short, the acidity levels in the muscles increase which create hydronium molecules caused by a shortage of oxygen. This is what causes the muscle burning and pain – not lactic acid.

Many people also falsely accuse lactic acid for the delayed muscle soreness that seems to get worse a few days after you strength train. This is actually nothing more than the body’s inflammatory repair response to a hard training session.

People who want to decrease this level of soreness are encouraged to do a proper warm up and cool down. It is also recommended that you perform some light exercises while you are sore. This helps the body recover more quickly.

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