How are the at-home workouts going? We miss the gyms too, but what we don't miss is feeling sore after working out!
Breaking a Sweat
When we exercise our body releases a chemical byproduct called lactic acid, due to anaerobic respiration. Often, our body utilizes aerobic respiration which means our tissues and muscles are being supplied by oxygen. But when our body is put through strenuous exercise we use more oxygen and thus have to utilize anaerobic respiration until oxygen levels go back to normal. Contrary to what many people think, the reason why we feel sore after an intense workout is not due to lactic acid build-up but it's rather an inflammatory response. In scientific terms, delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS, isn't necessarily caused by lactic acid in our bodies. Rather, most research points to actual muscle cell damage and an elevated release of various metabolites into the tissue surrounding the muscle cells. These responses to extreme exercise result in an inflammatory-repair response, leading to swelling and soreness that peaks a day or two after the event and resolves a few days later, depending on the severity of the damage.
Don't be placid about acid!
Although in most cases lactic acid levels go back to normal after an exhausting workout, there are some instances where it just wants to hang around in your bloodstream. That's not cool. Or in some cases, high levels of stress contributes to the body's production of lactic acid. When lactic acid hangs around in the body longer than its welcome this can be detrimental in the long run. Lactic acidosis is a form of metabolic acidosis that begins when a person overproduces or underutilizes lactic acid, and their body is not able to adjust to these changes. People with lactic acidosis have problems with their liver being able to remove excess acid from their body.
Overtime, lactic acid can alter the body's natural pH and change it to be more acidic when the body prefers a slightly more alkaline environment. When the body is too acidic this can disrupt many metabolic processes and overall your body is ripe for infections, allergies and low energy.