Do you know how your muscles aches after a workout? Sometimes it aches the day after or days later. When oxygen and glycogen in a muscle is used up, the muscle uses anaerobic respiration for energy. As the name infers, oxygen is not used. A product of anaerobic respiration is glucose, which can then be used for aerobic respiration. Pyruvic acid, which is formed from glucose in aerobic respiration, transforms into lactic acid, which diffuses out of the muscle cell into the blood. Energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), what muscles use for energy, is produced.
Once sufficient oxygen is restored, the lactic acid can be used for energy or reconverted into glucose by the liver and other tissues (a process known as oxidation).
The reaction is:
Pyruvic acide + 5H+ + 2 NAD > lactic acid + 2NADH
When too much lactic acid accumulates in the cell, acidity may be too high to maintain the proper degree of acidity in the cell. Fatigue and pain can also result. Resting between sets and resting a muscle used in weight training for at least a day helps to prevent lactic acid-induced fatigue and pain. For some anerobic sports, such as sprints, it is useful to eat a high glycogen meal after a work out.
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Some information for this blog was obtained from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/exercisephysiology/a/aa053101a.htm
Accessed on November 22, 2005
Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.