In the past, when we could actually claim that we were at least sort of “in shape,“ we could blame being sore after exercise on lactic acid build-up, instead of just plain being out of shape. Now we know we can’t even blame lactic acid for our pain.
Soreness and stiffness is actually due to the muscles being torn down during exercise in order to form them to become bigger and stronger. Lactic ccid apparently has nothing to do with it.
Lactate acts as a fuel for muscles during long periods of exercise. It kicks in when there is not enough oxygen supplied to the muscles and an anaerobic process, a process not needing air, is needed.
When a high amount of energy is needed, lactate is produced faster than the muscles are able to remove it. Therefore, blood lactate levels and concentration rise.
For example, when it comes to sprinting, the faster the speed, the higher lactate levels. As a person becomes more fit, their body needs less lactate to perform at a particular speed than it needed before.
It actually helps slow down lowering of blood sugar that can make an athlete feel fatigued and weak, meaning that it doesn’t hinder our workouts, but enhances them.