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Lactate: What do athletes and athletes need to know?

Laktat: Was müssen Sportler und Athleten wissen?

Hannes Beyer |

Lactate is hell for athletes, right?

Today is a good day! Everything is going perfectly for you at work, the appointments are made. Now the early end of the day beckons. The next point of contact is clear: Into the pits! Metcons on, Blackroll unpacked, warm-up done. Grab the bar, the WOD calls for front squats. The carbohydrates that you have consumed throughout the day provide a massive surplus of energy, the Fos as a pre-workout provides the rest of the motivation. In fact, everything should go smoothly. But your "colleagues from the class" pass you after a few minutes. You're only moving loads on the dumbbell today that don't actually demand anything from you. But the legs are tight. Nothing works anymore. The reason: lactate!

We have summarized for you what you need to know about lactate and how you can avoid the problems in your workout that are associated with lactate formation:

What is lactate?

Lactate is the anion of lactic acid and falls off as the end product of anaerobic glycolysis. In the metabolic process, the heart then absorbs the energy of the lactate via the bloodstream and, above a certain load limit, thus secures almost two thirds of the energy supply. Here, however, an aerobic condition, i.e. a sufficient amount of oxygen, is required again. This is self-evident, because otherwise our hearts would no longer be able to work fully. Oxygen is one of the basic building blocks of survival.

In less technical terms, this means the following for you:

The body is able to supply energy under the influence of oxygen and to generate energy without oxygen. Glycolysis works without oxygen. The advantage of this is that the body can release your "fuel" up to 100 times faster than under oxygen. However, in both cases we are talking about tiny fractions of a second. So lactate is the "internal glucose" that is always used when your organism is in fight or flight mode. So lactate is hardly used if the energy cannot be obtained by other means.

When does lactate formation become a problem for athletes?

The fact that lactate is produced in our, i.e. also in your, circulation is something completely natural. That said, not everything related to lactate build-up is inherently evil. But there is one point in our system that should make us "concerned" especially in our workout. Even if the word is drastic, it still hits the heart of the whole thing. Basically, it should always be possible to maintain a balance between the formation of lactate and its combustion, i.e. the elimination of carbohydrates in the form of glucose or lactate. But especially during workouts that demand a lot from you, like the front squats did on day X, the body switches to an internal “emergency state”.

At some point it gets tiring:

Here, with increasing duration of the WOD, more energy is consumed. From this point on, you will feel your legs tighten. The muscles pull and hurt more than with normal exertion. Then one speaks of hyperacidity, which is caused by the lactic acid. The body no longer processes the high amount of lactate adequately quickly. The energy production process shuts down. From there it becomes difficult to maintain your performance. But that doesn't mean that sport is impossible from this point on.

How can hyperacidity as a signal generator help you?

The end product of glycolysis is neither rocket science nor bad. But it hinders performance, since lactate only serves as a short-term source of energy and has already broken down after about 20 minutes. The blockage of the muscles that arises helps you to learn to assess yourself better. Here your body had to maintain its performance differently. So you know that your endurance values ​​(in the case of severe hyperacidity) are not sufficient. So you should adapt your training workload in such a way that you are on the verge of massive acidosis, but do not use it to the full. After a while, your tolerance level should increase, allowing you to last longer in the workout. Even if we as Functional Athletes don't like to admit it: 110% is not an advantage in every training session.

Preventing lactate formation and hyperacidity: is that possible?

But if those front squats absolutely have to work today, there are a few nutrient tricks you can use. With boosters like the one fromSportsman Plus , you not only get the necessary dose of caffeine to keep your focus for a long session. It also provides you with a mix of Betaalanine, L-Arginine and L-Citrulin. These three active ingredients promote blood flow and oxygen supply, which means that the muscles only harden later due to hyperacidity and the hyperacidity itself is a long time coming. For you this means: full throttle in training without fear of a premature drop in performance!

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