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Frustrations Over Lactic Acid Myth

Old 08-01-22, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Your maximum heart rate is 220 - your age.

You must drink 8 glasses of water a day.
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Old 08-03-22, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
It's been known for decades now that Lactic acid is not the cause of muscle burn, actually it seems like lactic acid isn't produced by the body, but if it is it's short-lived; rather what is produced is lactate. Yet, I keep hearing/reading how bad lactate (more commonly referred as Lactic Acid) is, when actually it's a very good source of fuel, including the brain and heart.

So when are people going to stop mindlessly parroting this lactic acid myth and start looking at the latest studies?

I just got a book on nutrition and fitness and saw it perpetuated the lactic acid myth...sent me on a rant.....

Rant off...
But you ignore the effects of lactate accumulation. Lactate may be a good fuel source, but tell me, what causes too much to build up and what happens because of it?
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Old 08-03-22, 01:53 PM
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Everyone is sort of *****footing (what a cat does when treading carefully) around the issue. I have too. However when the term lactate is used in articles, don't assume that they are saying it's lactic acid causing the burn. I'm not sure I quite understand it enough to discuss either.

But it might be the burn is from things creating the lactate substances that later becomes lactic acid. So all in all, the things being said to do to lessen the burn might be somewhat valid even if they do talk about lactic acid.
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Old 08-03-22, 01:57 PM
  #29  
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Lactate is the conjugate base of lactic acid. From a chemical perspective they're essentially the same thing (at least under physiological conditions in bodily fluids). You put lactic acid into water, it donates its proton to water and becomes lactate and the water (or blood, which is mostly water) becomes slightly more acidic. This idea that they're two different things and that's leading people to think that lactic acid is causing muscle burn when what you're really producing is lactate which isn't an acid is complete nonsense caused by a lack of understanding of basic chemistry. I agree that lactic acid (or lactate) is not what's causing muscle burn, but to talk about them like they're two separate things demonstrates a fundamental flaw in the understanding of what's going on in physiological conditions. There are enough free protons floating around in the cytoplasm (where phosphate buffers the pH)/blood (where carbonate - you know dissolved CO2 - buffers pH) that there is no real functional difference between lactate and lactic acid. As far as what's done with it, sure it can feed neurons, but a lot of it goes to the liver where, through gluconeogenesis, it gets turned back into glucose.
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Old 08-03-22, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
But you ignore the effects of lactate accumulation. Lactate may be a good fuel source, but tell me, what causes too much to build up and what happens because of it?
It's true, I didn't cover it too much in text, I just let the videos to do the talking, since they are experts.

First one is this, which gives some history to the lactic acid myth.


And then this one that goes into addressing the burn and how quickly it is removed from the body, based on research. Granted this is an old video from 2009, so if there is some newer research that counters this, I'm open to looking at it.

About the 2:00-point in the video it starts talking about the burn, then it talks about the muscle pain in the following day(s), which leads to how quickly to body clears it out. And then it goes into how the body builds up in lactate. The thing I learned from this video is that there is NO switch the body makes in going from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. And as far as building up lactate, I think it depends on how much anaerobic metabolism one is participating in and this can be altered by training.

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Old 08-03-22, 03:30 PM
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Developing MCT1 and MCT4 significantly elevates the fractional utilization of VO2 max. Highly and properly trained endurance athletes can have an FTP that is 90% or even 95% (older athletes) of VO2 max. Most training programs go about that all wrong.

This is the guy to look up.....ISM

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/w...ate-threshold/
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Old 08-03-22, 03:38 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
It's been known for decades now that Lactic acid is not the cause of muscle burn, actually it seems like lactic acid isn't produced by the body, but if it is it's short-lived; rather what is produced is lactate. .
Lactate just refers to the conjugate base of lactic acid. When an organic acid ionizes, you get a proton (or protons) and the corresponding anion, or conjugate base.

For all practical purposes, it is referring to the same thing. At physiological pH, an equilibrium exists between lactic acid and lactate.

In other words, the distinction is essentially meaningless. However, you can have a salt of the conjugate base, e.g., sodium lactate, but, again, if you dissolve it in water at physiological pH, you will have an equilibrium between lactic acid and lactate.

It is true that lactate (or lactic acid) is a metabolite that will turn over fairly rapidly.
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Old 08-03-22, 03:40 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Lactate is the conjugate base of lactic acid. From a chemical perspective they're essentially the same thing (at least under physiological conditions in bodily fluids). You put lactic acid into water, it donates its proton to water and becomes lactate and the water (or blood, which is mostly water) becomes slightly more acidic. This idea that they're two different things and that's leading people to think that lactic acid is causing muscle burn when what you're really producing is lactate which isn't an acid is complete nonsense caused by a lack of understanding of basic chemistry. I agree that lactic acid (or lactate) is not what's causing muscle burn, but to talk about them like they're two separate things demonstrates a fundamental flaw in the understanding of what's going on in physiological conditions. There are enough free protons floating around in the cytoplasm (where phosphate buffers the pH)/blood (where carbonate - you know dissolved CO2 - buffers pH) that there is no real functional difference between lactate and lactic acid. As far as what's done with it, sure it can feed neurons, but a lot of it goes to the liver where, through gluconeogenesis, it gets turned back into glucose.
Sorry, guess I should have read your post first.
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Old 08-03-22, 03:52 PM
  #34  
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The proton is the problem

Ability to burn lactate is a solution (for some)
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Old 08-03-22, 04:17 PM
  #35  
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As the video in post #30 stated, it's not even sure if the body produces Lactic Acid, but if it does it only is present for a very, very short time. If there are studies to the contrary, since that video was produced, I'm open to looking at it, I just haven't kept too much up on this study in the past few years.

An atom makes a big difference. Try inhaling ozone in place of oxygen...the difference is only one (O2 vs O3).

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lacta...e-adam-salamon

The Difference a Proton Can Make

Lactic Acid and Lactate are extremely similar; they only differ by a single hydrogen atom! That hydrogen is very important though… to be an acid, a molecule needs to have an extra hydrogen ion to donate. If lactic acid donated that extra proton it has from the hydrogen atom, it would become lactate. So, while talking about your body’s “lactic acid threshold”, “lactate production,” or “lactate” it may just seem like semantics but you're actually talking about widely different things.

Lactic acid, is actually used in the production of some foods you may have in your home right now. It is used in the yogurt and kefir making process. It’s also the component responsible for giving sourdough bread it’s distinctive flavor. What it is not though, is a hidden bad guy in your body hurting your performance. Blood lactate, or just lactate, is a hidden hero everyone should be aware of!
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Old 08-03-22, 05:07 PM
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Ozone and oxygen are two very different molecules.

Lactic acid and lactate are not. They are the same except for protonation state.

For someone who quotes Dirac, you are being a bit impervious to ... protons.

Lactate is produced when pyruvate is reduced.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10776894/

It is in every biochemistry textbook ever manufactured.

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 08-03-22 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-03-22, 05:54 PM
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That quote about them being "widely different things" just tells me that your source doesn't know what they're talking about (I say that as someone who will be teaching this in college-level biochemistry in about a month). Sure, in a distilled water situation, adding lactic acid would be different than adding a lactate salt, but, under physiological conditions there is no functional difference (and you're not adding a lactate salt, you're adding protons and a lactate, a.k.a. lactic acid).

The protons got added to the solution back when glucose got oxidized. Whether they (2 lactic acids get made for each glucose oxidized, so we're really talking about 2 protons per glucose) briefly had the protons back associated with the electrons donated from the NADH and immediately give them up again or whether they never came back is irrelevant.

The 2 protons are in solution, so if you want to you could call glucose the acid (or NADH+H+) and lactate the base. It doesn't matter, there are 2 lactates and 2 protons created from glucose. Whether you say they were ever 2 lactic acids or not is pointless, if you balance the equation, you made the equivalents of 2 lactic acids from 1 glucose.

Call it whatever you like, it's the same thing and has the same effect on the cellular pH. Either way it's a fermentative waste product created by reducing pyruvate (or pyruvic acid, if you prefer - again no functional difference under physiological conditions) that is generated because you don't have enough oxygen in your cells to continue oxidized the pyruvate all the way to CO2 and your cells need to regenerate the NAD or they'll die.

Whatever you call it, it's exported to the bloodstream and either used to feed other cells or transported to the liver where it gets converted back into glucose (after which point it goes back into the bloodstream).

Edit: Sorry, by the time I got done writing my reponse, I see Polaris did it much more succintly.
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Old 08-03-22, 06:11 PM
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I'm teaching biochemistry this fall, too, but thankfully not metabolic biochemistry!

I like your explanation much better.
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Old 08-03-22, 08:00 PM
  #39  
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LOL after reading these posts I realize that there's nothing related to "muscle burn", just a long hair explanation of lactic acid and lactate...almost sounds like a fight is about to commence. Made me think of an episode or two of "The Big Bang Theory".
Not sure if I should get out regular popcorn or "smart food" hehehe.
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Old 08-04-22, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
It's true, I didn't cover it too much in text, I just let the videos to do the talking, since they are experts.

First one is this, which gives some history to the lactic acid myth.

https://youtu.be/re4mbumngno

And then this one that goes into addressing the burn and how quickly it is removed from the body, based on research. Granted this is an old video from 2009, so if there is some newer research that counters this, I'm open to looking at it.

About the 2:00-point in the video it starts talking about the burn, then it talks about the muscle pain in the following day(s), which leads to how quickly to body clears it out. And then it goes into how the body builds up in lactate. The thing I learned from this video is that there is NO switch the body makes in going from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. And as far as building up lactate, I think it depends on how much anaerobic metabolism one is participating in and this can be altered by training.

https://youtu.be/5eFSgu1yWWM
I was not asking about the burn, I was alluding to the correlation between the burn and lactate build up. As others have pointed out, lactate builds up when you go beyond your 'threshold' (let's put it in ' ' to show that this is also not a 100% clear concept). Also, Inigo san Milan, Pog's coach for example praises Pog's ability to clear lactate (i.e. use it) not that he does not build it. But even for him, if he accumulates too much he will blow up at some point. Your contention seems to be that people are still confusing correlation with causation. But it is my point that the correlation still has value.

ps I actually heard of Ross Tucker before, great guy!
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Old 08-04-22, 05:18 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
That quote about them being "widely different things" just tells me that your source doesn't know what they're talking about (I say that as someone who will be teaching this in college-level biochemistry in about a month).....
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I'm teaching biochemistry this fall, too, but thankfully not metabolic biochemistry!

I like your explanation much better.
Whoa...I'm being accosted by two august members of academia!!

Hey guys I concede you two are far more knowledgeable in this topic than simple little me

I haven't done the research, I just listen/read from people that have and many are saying that lactate and lactic acid are not the same in this specific context.

I'm not debating you two, but maybe you can explain to me why George Brooks, PhD in this video says it's a misnomer to call lactate lactic acid. He says this at about the 17:30-minute point in the video.


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Old 08-04-22, 06:13 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
LOL after reading these posts I realize that there's nothing related to "muscle burn", just a long hair explanation of lactic acid and lactate...almost sounds like a fight is about to commence. Made me think of an episode or two of "The Big Bang Theory".
Not sure if I should get out regular popcorn or "smart food" hehehe.
You obviously missed my post and did not read Iñigo San Millán's article because if you had, you would be laughing at the dumb ass professors in this thread debating the definition of "is"
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Old 08-04-22, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You obviously missed my post and did not read Iñigo San Millán's article because if you had, you would be laughing at the dumb ass professors in this thread debating the definition of "is"
No. Just calling out your B.S. Again.

Bye-bye:

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Old 08-04-22, 12:47 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
it's a misnomer to call lactate lactic acid. He says this at about the 17:30-minute point in the video
That is technically correct, but what we are both saying (independently of one another, I promise!) is that it isn't a physiologically relevant biochemical distinction.

Let's take a slightly different example: Acetic acid (the main ingredient of vinegar).

If you put acetic acid into water, the molecule rapidly dissociates into two ions: a hydrogen ion, aka a proton, and an acetate ion. The dissociation is partial, so an equilibrium will exist between these two ions (the proton ion and the acetate ion) and the un-dissociated form, which we call the acetic acid molecule.

Because it is in an equilibrium, if some physiological or chemical process removes some of the acetic acid, then the equilibrium will almost instantaneously replenish it until nearly all of the acetate ion has been depleted. In other words, you won't have one without the other present, so whether the acetate ion is getting consumed, or the un-ionized acetic acid is getting consumed, isn't really relevant.

This isn't unique to acetic acid, but it is true of any "weak" organic acid, like pyruvic acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, etc.

What I think all of us agree upon is that the lactate/lactic acid doesn't hang around very long. Its transitory appearance is associated with anerobic respiration (fermentation) and as soon as enough oxygen is present, all of it is consumed, so it normally wouldn't accumulate in muscle tissue, especially hours after exercise.
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Old 08-04-22, 02:26 PM
  #45  
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Oh boy, this thread is giving me Chem 8A flashbacks. OChem PTSD.
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Old 08-04-22, 02:28 PM
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Old 08-04-22, 02:54 PM
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What I don't get is why the heck this would cause someone to be frustrated.

And Polaris is right.
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Old 08-04-22, 03:43 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
That is technically correct, but what we are both saying (independently of one another, I promise!) is that it isn't a physiologically relevant biochemical distinction.

Let's take a slightly different example: Acetic acid (the main ingredient of vinegar).

If you put acetic acid into water, the molecule rapidly dissociates into two ions: a hydrogen ion, aka a proton, and an acetate ion. The dissociation is partial, so an equilibrium will exist between these two ions (the proton ion and the acetate ion) and the un-dissociated form, which we call the acetic acid molecule.

Because it is in an equilibrium, if some physiological or chemical process removes some of the acetic acid, then the equilibrium will almost instantaneously replenish it until nearly all of the acetate ion has been depleted. In other words, you won't have one without the other present, so whether the acetate ion is getting consumed, or the un-ionized acetic acid is getting consumed, isn't really relevant.

This isn't unique to acetic acid, but it is true of any "weak" organic acid, like pyruvic acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, etc.

What I think all of us agree upon is that the lactate/lactic acid doesn't hang around very long. Its transitory appearance is associated with anerobic respiration (fermentation) and as soon as enough oxygen is present, all of it is consumed, so it normally wouldn't accumulate in muscle tissue, especially hours after exercise.
Thanks, this got my curiosity up and I'm going to look more into it.





Originally Posted by vespasianus View Post
What I don't get is why the heck this would cause someone to be frustrated.

And Polaris is right.
Getting frustrated over little sh*t is a whole lot better than being sexually frustrated




.
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Old 08-05-22, 08:59 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Developing MCT1 and MCT4 significantly elevates the fractional utilization of VO2 max. Highly and properly trained endurance athletes can have an FTP that is 90% or even 95% (older athletes) of VO2 max. Most training programs go about that all wrong.
So what's the executive summary on improving FTP?

From the linked article:

...to define individual training zones quite clearly, in particular Zone 2 (Z2) which with the experience over the past 18 years it has shown to be the training zone eliciting the best results to improve lactate clearance capacity.

Coggan says effect of training levels on "Increased muscle mitochondrial enzymes" (is that the same as MCT1 & MCT4?) is:
  • L2 - xx
  • L3 - xxx
  • L4 - xxxx
  • L5 - xx
and effect of training on "Increased lactate threshold" is:
  • L2 - xx
  • L3 - xxx
  • L4 - xxxx
  • L5 - xx

So Coggan seems to be telling us that L4 (threshold) is best for increasing threshold power.

We have a conflict of expert opinions.

But if more L2 and less L4 is the better answer, sign me up. L4 is hard!
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Old 08-05-22, 09:59 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
So what's the executive summary on improving FTP?

From the linked article:

...to define individual training zones quite clearly, in particular Zone 2 (Z2) which with the experience over the past 18 years it has shown to be the training zone eliciting the best results to improve lactate clearance capacity.

Coggan says effect of training levels on "Increased muscle mitochondrial enzymes" (is that the same as MCT1 & MCT4?) is:
  • L2 - xx
  • L3 - xxx
  • L4 - xxxx
  • L5 - xx
and effect of training on "Increased lactate threshold" is:
  • L2 - xx
  • L3 - xxx
  • L4 - xxxx
  • L5 - xx

So Coggan seems to be telling us that L4 (threshold) is best for increasing threshold power.

We have a conflict of expert opinions.

But if more L2 and less L4 is the better answer, sign me up. L4 is hard!
I've contacted Coggan in the past asking about endurance and power levels for longer distances, he did not know.

The bottom line? Both energy systems need to be trained to increase endurance and also FTP, they are not the same. I'd reckon 90% of the time should be just below Coggan's Zone 3, or well into his zone 2. Some limited higher intensity rides. The lactate to be used as fuel comes from glycolic activity, so, just riding around very easy is not going to help. There is no denying one can bump FTP quickly with HIIT but will such a program allow a rider to go at say, 90% of FTP for 3 or more hours or 85% for 5-6 hours. I say no. If you research Pogacar's lactate curve and Fatmax, he is making serious power (around 350 watts, IIRC) using mostly fat with a very low lactate blood level (around 1.3 mMol ....again, IIRC). This lower use of glycogen at relatively high power results in fewer protons polluting the muscles (acidosis) but probably as important, it spares his glycogen.

It is also important to realize San Milan does not use Coggan's zones and there is much debate on how his lactate levels and aerobic thresholds fit to the Coggan model. It isn't an easy exercise. I used to make say 250 watts at 145 BPM and now, it is just under 120 bpm. I used to use lactate meter but the strips are expensive and it is a pain in the ass. I also think many people have no clue what their true FTP and zones are. So, comparison is futile.

The key point? Both systems need to be trained separately. 3-4 solely aerobic rides per week of around 90 minutes per ISM and if you are going to do any anaerobic efforts, only do them after you finish the aerobic workout. He says that in a podcast. I had a top coach once, he used to get a little miffed when I would have 2-3 minute higher intensity efforts on a "tempo" ride. My excuse? I have steep hills. His response? Walk them, drive to a flatter route, or ride the trainer. No hedging on his words. Riders who only focus on HIIT plateau quickly.

Last edited by GhostRider62; 08-05-22 at 10:03 AM.
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