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Lactic Acid.... Why?
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crazeeclimber


Apr 29, 2002, 1:54 AM
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Lactic Acid.... Why?
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I didn't know where to post this one so here it is... How exactly does Lactic Acid build up in our muscles and why does it happen? Although I have been climbing for quite some time now it's just really annoying why this happens! It also happens more in the colder weather. Well I'd just like to know! Thanks a million!
*Lydia*


crux_clipper


Apr 29, 2002, 2:27 AM
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crazee, I'm not an expert, but as i see it, lactic acid builds up in the muscles when your metabolic rate raises to a point where the body is not getting enough oxygen to function properly. It's a substance that builds up in the muscles, causing stiffness. If you watch swimmers after they race, they usually go for a lite swim afterwards. This is trying to rid the muscles of the lactic acid by draining it out. Otherwise, it sits there, and crystalises, causing more pain.

A way to prevent it, is to improve aerobic fitness. Go for a run..... (as you said you would)


crazeeclimber


Apr 29, 2002, 2:30 AM
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Thanks dude! I run regularly, so that must mean that on occasions I have a high metabolism! Does being short have anything to do with it?


apollodorus


Apr 29, 2002, 2:54 AM
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Lactic acid is a normal byproduct of muscle activity. When you work the muscles hard, it doesn't get flushed out fast enough and causes that burning sensation. Improving your cardio-vascular capacity by running and doing aerobic exercise increases how fast your muscles recover. Anaerobic, or isometric exercise (like lifing heavy weights, or hanging on a hold for a long time) also helps. Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water also helps tremendously. When you become dehydrated, your body will get water from wherever it can, including from your blood stream. Less blood = slower flushing of the muscles.


bulldog


Apr 29, 2002, 3:35 AM
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Otherwise, it sits there, and crystalises, causing more pain. - egads, I hope not. If you're lactic acid crystallized, you'd freeze up like an iceman!

To add my little bit...
Lactate is a result of the abnormal metabolism of pyruvate into lactate (basically, fermentation occurs in the abscence of sufficient oxygen). Normally, the pyruvate would be converted into acetyl coA for use in the kreb's cycle (your aerobic cycle). But, when your tissue oxygenation is insufficient to meet your energy requirements, as occurs in many strenuous sports, you end up with a build up of this bugger called lactic acid.

Normally, your body removes lactate from your blood via the liver, kidneys and skeletal muscles. If the lactate sits there in your little muscle cell, and you give it some rest, the lactate can be converted back to acetyl coA by that cell or an adjacent one, so it can be used in the kreb's cycle for energy (ATP). If you don't give it some rest to provide an increase in oxygenation, you end up with that good ole characteristic burn.

Bulldog


crazeeclimber


Apr 29, 2002, 4:57 AM
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Thanks heaps guys This really does help. This will give me a good reason to go to the local gym and do some cardiocvascular training
Once again thanks.
*Lydia*


jt512


Apr 29, 2002, 10:37 AM
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I don't think cardiovascular work is going to help you avoid or recover from lactic acid build-up in your forearms. What will help is to train the forearms(!), and you can do that just by climbing.

-Jay


Partner pianomahnn


Apr 29, 2002, 11:31 AM
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http://www.rockclimbing.com/articles/index.php?ID=15

That is an article I wrote a while back. I think it covers lactic acid.


spank_spank


Apr 29, 2002, 12:47 PM
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I can't remember who wrote this, but its a popular book, Performance Rock Climbing. It goes into the biological, chemical, and health (eating) of climbers. Very good read.

P.S. Make sure your forearms are as big as your biceps

[ This Message was edited by: spank_spank on 2002-04-29 12:48 ]


orestes1724


Apr 29, 2002, 3:20 PM
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dont forget to breath


thegib


Apr 29, 2002, 3:41 PM
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Check out the article on www.8a.nu


inflight


May 1, 2002, 9:23 AM
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Increased blood flow will remove lactic acid build up. So, warm up your forarms, lats, etc., before you climb hard. By warming up you get blood flowing through your muscles.

Peace


Partner iclimbtoo


May 1, 2002, 9:44 AM
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All I know is it happens and how to prevent it. Run a lot, but also eat lots of bananas. Read http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=9458&forum=25&9
We just covered this.


Partner greenspace


May 1, 2002, 3:38 PM
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Bulldog, nice description of respiration! You must of had some cell bio. in the past!! Acetyl coA.....sweet stuff.


roclymber


May 1, 2002, 3:47 PM
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To help quicken the removal of lactic acid from your system and muscles - add small amounts of sodium bicarbonate (i think this is baking soda?)

Sodium Bicarbonate acts as a buffer to lactic acid, and helps remove it from your body.

Im almost positive that Baking Soda is infact sodium bicarbonate, I just dont have a chem book near me at the moment to check.

[ This Message was edited by: roclymber on 2002-05-01 17:07 ]


jt512


May 1, 2002, 4:03 PM
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roclymer, I rather doubt it. Unless you can post a citation to a scientific source that says that consuming bicarbonate will neutralize lactic acid in muscle, I'm going to have to conclude that you're wrong about this.

-Jay


addiroids


May 1, 2002, 4:10 PM
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Yeah, good job bulldog. I would have said that too, but not as succinctly as you did. I would like to add a few points to clarify a few things:

Lactic acid does not cause pain by crystallizing. It causes pain by lowering the pH of the immediate area around that muscle. This is also what causes your body to function LESS efficiently because the enzymes in the Anaerobic Glycolysis cycle and TCA cycle have an optimum pH range with which they function. Therefore if they are out of that range, they cannot function as effectively.

The reason for the Electron Transport System (comes after the TCA cycle) is to recycle NADH back into NAD (Nicotine Adenine Dinucleotide) which is a reductant (or oxidant?? I can never remember which is which). This molecule allows that extra 2 ATP to be formed in the Anaerobic Glycolysis cycle. That is the reason that Lactate is formed from Pyruvate (instead of Acetyl CoA). To convert the NADH back into NAD.

So the biggest reason Lactate is produced is that your forearms are working harder than the amount of oxygen is supplied. The Electron Transport System is backed up since Oxygen is not present to be the final electron acceptor, and since the organism must keep functioning, NADH is converted to NAD by taking Pyruvate to Lactate.

If only our bodies could figure out fermentation (Pyruvate ---> Ethanol) we would be set. After a long day of climbing, just go run some sprints and you don't have to buy any beer.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag (who has a B.S. in Exercise Science and a minor in Chemistry. And SOME if it is still in the cranium.)

EDIT: Sodium Bicarbonate raises your blood pH. This has an effect on your body in two ways. First, it can neutralize the free Hydrogen atoms released from the Lactate, which in-turn (secondly) can allow the enzymes that convert Pyruvate to Actyl CoA. However, as Jay just pointed out, although it may increase your blood pH a slight bit, this isn't really standard practice and has not been shown to significantly affect performance.

And roclymber it would be best if you showed some confidence when recommending the generic food supplement (baking soda) that has sodium bicarbonate in it. I know I wasn't 100% sure if NAD is a reductant or oxidant, but that's not too important.

I also advise that NO ONE try to improve their performance by eating ANY amounts of baking soda. It will make your stomach inflate and it can rupture and you can DIE!!! And being DEAD will impair your performance much worse than any amount of lactic acid in your muscles!!!

[ This Message was edited by: addiroids on 2002-05-01 16:22 ]


Partner pianomahnn


May 1, 2002, 4:31 PM
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Quote:And being DEAD will impair your performance much worse than any amount of lactic acid in your muscles!!!

Truer words were never spoken.


dimeedge


May 1, 2002, 4:47 PM
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Also being dead will stop your blood flow, and once again you will have Lactic Acid build up.


roclymber


May 1, 2002, 5:03 PM
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errmm....I never meant to directly state to consume baking soda raw. Let me get that straight, but I did find that sodium bicarbonate does in fact buffer lactic acid, and is also found in foods.

I can site the source if need be. But i think addiroids clarified that for me.


julz


May 1, 2002, 6:26 PM
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The book that was mentioned in the earlier reponses is "Performance Rock Climbing" written by Dale Goddard and Udo Neumann. It is an excellent book. He really takes an in depth look at lactic acid and how to train your body to increase the lactic threshold. He also covers mental, strength, techniques, flexability. I highly recommend picking up a copy.


apollodorus


May 1, 2002, 9:16 PM
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I am a moron; Bulldog is the man. I thought lactic acid was a normal byproduct, not an overwork byproduct.

Give him the prize.


bulldog


May 1, 2002, 10:05 PM
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Apollo... I actually thought your post was quite informative.
And Addiroids, also very nice.

As for me, I guess I'm a cheater since I probably have a leg up on most when it comes to this subject.
Since all of my patients are in the intensive care unit, I always have to be concerned with lactic acidosis. Not exactly the way in which it pertains to the burn in climbing, but the physiology is similar.

As for avoiding bicarb, you are right on. Not only would you not want to drink it in order to "buffer" your blood's pH against the acidic effects of lactic acid; but its use even remains quite controversial in patients that are sufferring from a potentially deadly case of lactic acidosis. I know I won't even consider reaching for the stuff on the shelf until my patients get to around a pH of 7.0 [which I often consider close to the point of no return], but even then I do so with a shaky hand.

Bulldog
(by the way, my patients are of the veterinary sort, not the human variety).

[ This Message was edited by: bulldog on 2002-05-01 22:10 ]


jt512


May 2, 2002, 2:45 PM
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Here's what one sports nutrition textbook has to say about sodium bicarbonate:
Quote:
Sodium bicarbonate buffers lactic acid in the blood. Claims have been made that sodium bicarbonate will help the body's buffer capacity and counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the blood, thereby improving anaeroic performance. Several studies have reported improved anaerobic performance (in 400- and 800-meter runs) with bicarbonate supplementation. Taking 0.3 gm/kg of sodium bicarbonate with water over a 2- to 3-hour period may improve 800-meter run time by several seconds. However, as many as half of those individuals using sodium bicarbonate experience urgent and explosive diarrhea one hour after the loading. Effects of repeated ingestion are unknown, and caution is advised.(1)


I ain't belaying nobody who's taking sodium bicarbonate.

-Jay

Reference:
1. Berning JR, Steen SN. Nutrition for sport and exercise, 2ed (1998). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.

[ This Message was edited by: jt512 on 2002-05-02 14:46 ]


addiroids


May 2, 2002, 3:14 PM
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"Explosive diarrhea"

CASE CLOSED!!!

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