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Lactic acid build up and DOMS


Have you ever heard someone say, “Man, I have to drain the lactic acid from my legs”?

Can you actually “drain” lactic acid?

There’s a huge misconception that our bodies have lactic acid build-up for up to 3 days post-workout and that is the cause of soreness we feel from our workouts.

Both are untrue. Once upon a time before the 1970″ it actually was believed to be the case.  Since then there’s been a lot of new research the debunks this myth.


What is Lactic Acid?


Lactic acid is the by-product of your body using carbohydrates (sugars) during your workout.

It is the burning feeling in an ACTIVE muscle. It’s literally the burning feeling you get when you are pushing your muscles while you are doing an exercise.

Contrary to belief lactic acid is produced in the body all the time, not just during exercise. It is metabolized by the body for energy. When Lactic acid is not used up during exercise it is transformed back into sugars by the liver.

It is not the delayed soreness feeling. That is actually called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The soreness of the muscle 24-78 hours post-exercise activity is DOMS.


What causes Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?


DOMS is normally caused by high-intensity exercise. DOMS is our body’s response to this vigorous activity by becoming inflamed to protect itself. It is a side effect, and our bodies are SO SMART that they do this!!!

Symptoms of DOMS:

—tenderness to the touch of the muscles you worked out

—swelling of the muscles (also known as the inflammation)

—muscle fatigue

—short term muscle loss

Why is DOMS important? To inform you that although you may have been taught and thus believe that Lactic acid causes DOMS, It does NOT!

I used to hear this all the time when I was going to high school from different sports team players, and I always was curious about what actually was going on, so I found out. I have been reading and researching everything in the physical fitness world for years, and to be honest, in the exercise science field, there is new research showing up all the time.

Scientists are still finding new information about Lactic acid and DOMS, and researching like crazy about it!!!!

You know how you feel when you experience delayed onset muscle soreness. It is intense!  Here’s the good news.. You no longer need to Struggle to walk for a week after an intense leg workout or any other workout for that matter.  Research shows that post-workout supplementation is beneficial and critical to avoid DOMS.

Don’t believe me?  Then you’ll continue to feel sore for weeks on end? Or you can heed the following advice.


Post Workout


When I was in high school I used to eat a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter. It was cheap and it was usually around the house.  When I really “nerded out” about exercise and working out I would drink my brother’s protein shakes (just the cheap ones because we were in college).

I didn’t know the new research.

During exercise in addition to the lactic acid build-up, your body is making mini micro-trauma tears to your muscles. Contrary to believe, your body isn’t burning fat at this time. When you finish a workout, your body is still in a catabolic state, (which is storing fat, and burning muscle), we want to optimize the anabolic state (burning fat and building muscle).

To keep your body in an anabolic state you must get enough protein throughout the day.  After a workout, you need additional protein to get your body back into that anabolic state.

So, just have a protein shake right?

Not exactly!  Here is the problem with that. It may not be enough protein.  Your body doesn’t care what you look like ( ie. too fat, too thin, just right).  It will use the protein shake and break it down for glycogen (carb) stores to get your body out of the “fight or flight” mode that your body is in after a workout. Your body is worried about survival first, leaving your muscles vulnerable, VERY sore and allows  DOMS one, two, three, or even four days later.


How do we recover then?


I’m going to get technical for a minute.  You need to pair a  hydrolyzed, low temperature processed whey protein isolate (Hydrolyzed= dehydrated, body doesn’t have to break it down), with dexanhydrous glucose (the exact form that your body needs to replenish the glycogen stores in the post-workout (fastest carbs source out there) in order to get the nutrients in as fast as possible to start the repair process.

Side note: low temperature=proteins are denatured, and it mimics the digestion of whole foods.

The fast carbs shuttle the hydrolyzed, protein isolate into the muscle to start the repair process, which helps you feel AWESOME post-workout, and not anywhere near as sore as you would be. Personally I don’t even get sore to the level I used to. I might have a tightness feeling in my leg once in a while, but that is it!!

Taking care of your body pays off! TAKE THAT DOMS!

What I use

I use Phormula-1 and Ignition after all my resistance training workouts and have noticed an incredible difference in my muscle mass and the way I feel! I don’t feel tired or sore. Ever!

Plus the chocolate mint cookie flavor is like drinking those thin mint Girl Scout cookies! YUM! ???

To see results from your exercise program your diet??? also has to be clean, eat whole foods.   Post-workout supplementation is the ONLY time supplements ever trumps whole foods in your diet.

If you are struggling to see results whether you’re looking for toned abs or losing fat, you might want to consider the to add the post-workout stack in!

Here’s that link.

Additional Reading

American College of Sports Medicine article on Lactic Acid

Does Lactic Acid Cause Muscular Fatigue? 

The Truth about Fats, Protein, and Carbs


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