Myth Buster : Is Lactic Acid Actually Your Enemy?

That all too familiar burning sensation you feel when training is the bind of many an athlete! The causes are important so that you can accordingly to delay the onset. Lactic acid is always the scape goat here, and to say it’s unfunded is an understatement. Lactic acid is actually there to help; in fact its part of its very own energy system aptly called ‘the lactic acid system’. The lactic acid system is designed to liberate more ATP (needed for energy production) in a process known as anaerobic glycolysis, this occurs when oxygen has either ran out or wasn’t present in the first place.

Glycolysis (breakdown of glucose for energy) produces energy as well as pyruvate and Hydrogen ions, and it’s the Hydrogen ions that increase the acidity of your blood and thus causes the ‘burn’ you feel as you fatigue!


McArdle, W, D., Katch, F, I, & Katch, V, L. (2007). Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance. 6th Ed. Lippincock Williams & Wilkins.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!


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