For anyone who trains, the build-up of lactic acid is a nightmare. Not only is it painful, but it can impede on the ability of a future workout. Some individuals get such bad lactic acid buildup that they cannot even execute a proper workout one or two days down the road.
The worst part for some individuals is that the build-up of acid does not wane with time or consistency. Instead, their bodies seem to be doomed to feeling the soreness and burn of lactic acid build up no matter what they do. Luckily, there are ways to decease the intensity and frequency of the unfortunate build up. The key is what you eat and how you prepare or cool down that stifles lactic build up.
Why the Build Up
It is important to remember that the build-up is not some sort of punishment designed by the body. Instead, it is a reaction of the body to the work you are doing. It is almost like a natural warning system from the body, which is not use to the amount of activity you are putting on it.
When you think of it this way, you can understand that it is your job to communicate to the body not to worry (in a sense). Moreover, the way to do this is through proper diet and pre/post exercises activities.
Tip 1: Have A Proper Diet
Magnesium and Potassium both aid in the reduction or staying of the lactic acid build-up. Foods like almonds, bananas help fill the body with the proper amounts of both nutrients. This result is a lowering the possibility of cramping and pain from lactic acid buildup.
Making a fruit and nut mix is a great post-workout or off-day meal that helps ward off the pain. Bicarbonate is another way to buffer the effects of lactic acid pain. There are supplements, which one can take after a workout. If you looking to take bicarbonate, remember to test their effects first as some have negative gastrointestinal reactions such as diarrhea or nausea.
Tip 2: Stretching
Both before and after a workout, one must put an emphasis on stretching the body and enact a quality warm up. The muscles in the body need blood to flow properly throughout the body. Equally important, the muscles must “wake up” a bit before you ask them to do intensive work. For bodybuilders, this is of utmost importance. If one were to overlook proper stretching technique, he/she would fall prey to injury due to muscle fatigue or seizing.
Tip 3: Warm-Down
Just as important as the pre-workout stretch is the post-workout warming down. While the phrase may be foreign to some, the idea is simple. Many have heard that after running a long distance, one should continue to walk or jog at a slow pace before coming to a complete stop.
The reason is because the muscle can tighten and seize up. After a long strength-training session, one should avoid stopping suddenly. Instead, one is best served by taking small weights and running through their routine one last time.
For instance, after doing a shoulders and back routine, one should do one extra set of each station with 30% of the normal weight. This allows the muscles to “warm down” instead of suddenly stopping. By doing so, one can lower the chances of sudden lactic acid build up.