How To Prevent Lactic Acid Buildup in Your Muscles

If you’ve been working out for a while, it’s probably safe to say that you’ve felt the effects of lactic acid buildup after a workout. 

One of the telltale signs is muscle cramps or extreme exhaustion after a hard cardio session. However, you don’t necessarily have to push through this post-workout pain. In fact, you can lessen or even prevent the side effects of lactic acid buildup by doing a few simple things before and after each workout.

In this blog post, we’ll answer your questions about lactic acid. Keep reading to learn more about the negative effects of lactic acid buildup, how you can build a workout recovery routine to feel your best after exercise, and the difference between lactic acid buildup and post-workout soreness.

What Are the Effects of Lactic Acid Buildup?

Before we get into how your body reacts to lactic acid buildup, let’s talk about why it happens. Your body breaks down glucose for energy (metabolism 101), which goes into overdrive when you workout. As intense exercise increases glucose consumption, it also lowers oxygen levels — a key part of breaking down glucose. 

When this happens, your body needs some way to process the glucose without oxygen. 

The result is lactic acidosis, or lactic acid production. The more lactic acid your body creates, the more you feel its effects. Some common signs of lactic acid buildup include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Involuntary rapid, deep breaths

The good news is that your body typically processes exercise-related lactic acid quickly, and you can take action to prevent lactic acid buildup with your workout recovery routine.

Workout Recovery Tips to Counteract Lactic Acid Buildup

A stellar exercise regimen involves more than planning your workouts for the week. It also includes proper nutrition and workout recovery techniques to prevent uncomfortable side effects from intense activity, like lactic acid buildup.

To prevent lactic acidosis during your workout routine, try the following tips:

Increase Your Water Intake

Proper hydration plays a significant role in more than just exercise. Your body generally functions better when you drink enough water throughout the day.

On the days you plan on exercising, you need to drink a lot of water before and after your workout. That extra water will increase oxygen levels in your bloodstream, making it easier to process glucose and prevent lactic acid buildup.

Eat More Protein

We’re not here to say that you should avoid carbs altogether. Carbohydrate-rich foods are packed with energy, but your body creates lactic acid when processing them. As a result, you start with a higher baseline of lactic acid when you eat more carbs.

Higher protein foods are a great way to beat lactic acid buildup because your body produces less lactate while digesting them. As an added bonus, increased protein intake will help with muscle repair and promote faster recovery.

Add Active Rest Sessions to Your Workout Routine

Active rest training is a secret ingredient that improves any workout routine (and helps you flush lactic acid). Whether walking around between weight training sets or hopping on your bike for low-impact exercise on an off day, active rest is a win.

Adding active rest sessions to your routine is highly effective because they increase blood flow. Increasing your blood flow removes toxins like lactate from your body, decreasing the chance of lactic acid buildup.

The Difference Between Lactic Acid Buildup and Post-Exercise Soreness

Now that we’ve discussed lactic acid buildup and how to prevent it, let’s talk a bit about the difference between lactic acidosis and post-workout fatigue.

Feeling tired and sore for a day or two after a workout is typical, and you might also feel delayed onset muscle soreness that occurs a day or two after your workout. This soreness happens because your muscles need to rebuild after exercise, which comes with some discomfort. 

On the other hand, lactic acid buildup is acute and typically occurs during and right after intense exercise. Your body flushes lactate fairly quickly, so the potential cramps and soreness from workout-induced lactic acid buildup shouldn’t last more than an hour.

Fit Body Boot Camp is Here to Help With Your Nutrition and Exercise Questions

Our group workout programs come with the attention of certified coaches who can help you build your optimal routine. They’re also here to offer nutritional and exercise advice to guide your fitness journey!

At Fit Body Boot Camp, we approach exercise differently than a typical gym. We offer results-driven workouts that only last 30 minutes and continue burning fat even after you’ve stopped exercising. With us, you’ll experience real results

Visit a location near you to enjoy the Fit Body Boot Camp difference today!

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