The Truth About Lactic Acid

lacticacidmolecules
Lactic acid molecule

Since the 1960’s researchers have known that the connection between delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and lactic acid is a myth.

Lactic acid is a continual product of carbohydrate metabolism.  It holds a position as a temporary product at the end of glycolysis and at the head of the aerobic Krebs cycle.  That’s a fancy way of saying that lactic acid is formed when sugar is broken down in your body and it’s produced whenever the body breaks down carbohydrates for energy.  The lactic acid actually helps generate energy. Lactic acid is not a toxin. Then why does it get such a bad rap?

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Sore Biceps?

Your biceps (biceps brachii) are one of the most used muscles in your body.  The muscles are also the target of many fitness training programs.  It’s no wonder that overuse, strain, or trauma in these muscles is common.

Where’s the bicep?

Your biceps are muscles on the front part of your upper arm, extending between your elbow and shoulder.  They have a “short head” and “long head”, meaning the muscle itself has two parts that work together as a single muscle.  The biceps attach to your shoulder joint in two places and the other end of the bicep connects to your forearm bones (radius and ulna).  Biceps flex your forearms at the elbow and also assist with twisting the forearm (supination).

Common conditions

The biceps can ache for many reasons, the most common is overuse.  That’s when you attempt to lift something that’s too much for the muscle, or you do too many reps on your curls, or overdo the pull ups.  In some cases, the over stretching can cause micro tears in muscle fibers or related tendons and cause a strain.  Pain and swelling typically come with a strain.

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You’re a Climber. You’re Sore. Now What?

If you worked hard to reach your goals during your climb, you’re probably sore. Climbing is one of the most efficient workouts you can get! You use virtually every muscle in your body in a mashup of coordination, strength training, and balance. It’s good for the mind, too, developing self-confidence, learning to visualize and problem-solve. And of course it’s fun!

Shoulder
With all that vigorous exercise, it’s no wonder your body complains sometimes!  Though not all soreness indicates an injury. Some soreness results from muscle fatigue, some from other stresses. But some soreness is a red flag–so if the pain persists, see a healthcare professional–otherwise, there are some easy and practical things you can do to reduce or eliminate the pain you’re feeling. Continue reading “You’re a Climber. You’re Sore. Now What?”