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  1. #1
    Syracuse Orangeman 4 Life killerasp's Avatar
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    How to reduce lactic acid?

    What do you use or do to reduce lactic acid build up?

  2. #2
    Infamous Dumpster Diver Buddha Knuckle's Avatar
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    Quite simply,

    You train. I have never heard of a supplement or dietary modification that combats the buildup of lactic acid in working muscles. Basically you have to alter the chemical composition of your muscle cells. Sprints and aerobic exercise are both necessary to attain a muscle physiology that builds up lactate later in anaerobic exercise, and eliminates it faster when aerobic metabolism is re-established. This is pretty vague, I know. All the books I have on the subject are actually pretty dated, so maybe things have changed, but I doubt it.

    BK
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    Mister Slick Matadon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Buddha Knuckle
    Quite simply,

    You train. I have never heard of a supplement or dietary modification that combats the buildup of lactic acid in working muscles. Basically you have to alter the chemical composition of your muscle cells. Sprints and aerobic exercise are both necessary to attain a muscle physiology that builds up lactate later in anaerobic exercise, and eliminates it faster when aerobic metabolism is re-established. This is pretty vague, I know. All the books I have on the subject are actually pretty dated, so maybe things have changed, but I doubt it.

    BK
    I'll second that. Potassium will help you recover faster afterwards; kiwis, bananas...
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  4. #4
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Some sports beverages (Cytomax, etc.) claim to promote lactic acid buffering. It's something I don't really understand, so I can't comment. Anyone?

  5. #5
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    as far as the supplements... as far as i know there aren't any that help in this. all the ones i know of are for helping AFTER lactate acid has been produced and to help rid your muscles of the byproducts to speed recovery... i think Endurox R4 which i use supposed does this (i personally find it useful after a hard workout) --- as for Cytomax or others, this might be the case, but i dont know about it and have no personal experience...

    as to the original question:
    What do you use or do to reduce lactic acid build up?
    well, as the other posters have said: you train. in particular "threshold training" which is often some from of Interval training. Threshold training is where you train with your heart at or just below (within 15 beats) of your Lactate Threshold so your body better adapts to the effects of lactate buildup in the bloodstream. every person differs, but for example, my max is 194, my LT is 165, so training in the 150-170 range is Threshold training for me.

    when you train you imporve 3 things relating to lactate acid:
    1) you raise the point of work/exertion at which lactate is produced - i/e your muscles are stronger and your HR at which you reach your Lactate Threshold (generally concentration of 3mmol) climbs
    2) your muscles actually "learn" to use the lactate acid as an energy source although only partially - this helps b/c it reduces the rate at which it builds up in the muscles/blood
    3) you increase your system's tolerance to high lactate acid levels -- this is usually called adaptation to "drift" and means that you can work longer just below, at or just above your Lactate Threshold than someone who is untrained (drift occurs b/c your HR climbs slightly as you work at the same level over time and is one of the reasons why you cannot perform the same work at your LT for long periods of time, say 30 or 50 minutes or more)
    Last edited by nathank; 09-27-02 at 03:58 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member RacerX's Avatar
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    Yes, there is something you can take to reduce lactic acid but I'm not going to be the one spreading it around.

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    Come on RacerX, let us in on the secret!

    Probably not what he has in mind- but I've heard of some people using baking soda. This seems like it would be the answer because as a base it should break down the acid, but in actual tests it makes very little difference and has other side effects like indigestion.

    nathank summed it up perfectly, train around the point where you start to "feel the burn" in your legs. All out sprints will help also, but I'd focus on a reduced effort for a longer amount of time. Get to the point where it just starts to sting, and then stay there as long as you can. You might also want to time this now so you have something to compare to later on. I can't remember the exact numbers, but I think the average person can only do around 10 minutes at LT (lactate threshold, also called anaerobic threshold) and top pros like Lance can go for 30-40 minutes.

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    i use cytomax which helps delay lactic acid build up. as for technique, lance amrstrong uses a very high cadence in a lower chainring than usual. when u r in a higher gear, lactic acid builds up faster, but if ur in lower gear, u have less lactic acid buildup but ur cardiovascular system gets a much harder workout. this is one technique armstrong uses that his competetors dont really use. he has been working on this technique for years to build up the cardiovascular strength

  9. #9
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    as for technique, lance amrstrong uses a very high cadence in a lower chainring than usual. when u r in a higher gear, lactic acid builds up faster, but if ur in lower gear, u have less lactic acid buildup but ur cardiovascular system gets a much harder workout. this is one technique armstrong uses that his competetors dont really use. he has been working on this technique for years to build up the cardiovascular strength
    that is also what i have heard: for the same power, you can increase the cadence which raises your HR more and taxes your cardio system more, but uses less maximal muscle power so less lactic acid builds up... the net effect is that you can cycle longer at a fast pace. from the stuff i've read, the researchers don't know WHY, but cycling at a cadence above your optimal power cadence leads to better performance over time. (probably b/c of lactic acid buildup, but there are soo many factors)

    i have been using this technique this last year, especially for hill-climbing (i've logged over 55,000m vertical since end of March) and i find it really effective - i don't have a cadence monitor on my MTB but i'm usually turning 80-90rpms on 10-15% and 70-80rpms on 20%+ when everyone else is around 60rpms of less - i sometimes feel funny spinnign so except almost no one passes me on climbs any more and i fly by while they crank slowly, so.... i am normally a very powerful cyclist spinter-type with lots of fast-twitch muscles. this last month for the first time ever i have been on climbs where i had "cardio" to spare but no more muscle strength which almost never happens (usually i have lots of strength but no cardio and have to back off). so i think i've raised my cardio a lot, but also this technique may build less strength? i don't know since i didn't do any control rides... i guess next year i will add more high-power intervals to help build MORE strength...
    why drive when you can ride?
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