For anyone who trains, the build-up of lactic acid is a nightmare.
Not only is it painful but it can impede future workouts.
Some individuals get such bad lactic acid buildup that they cannot even execute a proper session 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 this unfortunate build-up.
The key is what you eat and how you prepare or cool down. This stifles lactic build-up.
First, Why the Build-Up?
It is important to remember that this build-up is not some sort of punishment designed by the body. Instead, it's a reaction of the body to the work you are doing. It is almost like a natural warning system from the body when it's not used to the amount of activity you are putting on it.
Think of it this way: it is your job to communicate to your body not to worry (in a sense). The correct way to do this is through proper diet and pre/post exercise activities.
Tip 1: Have A Proper Diet
Magnesium and potassium both aid in the reduction of lactic acid build-up. Foods like almonds and bananas help fill the body with the proper amounts of both nutrients. The result is a lowering of the possibility of cramping or pain from lactic acid build-up.
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 the effects first as some have negative gastrointestinal reactions like diarrhea or nausea.
Tip 2: Stretching
Both before and after a workout, you must put an emphasis on stretching the body and warming up properly.
The muscles need blood to flow properly throughout the body. Equally importantly, the muscles must “wake up” a bit before you ask them to do intensive work. For bodybuilders, this is of the utmost importance. If you overlook proper stretching technique, you're likely to fall prey to injury due to muscle fatigue or seizing up.
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, you should continue to walk or jog at a slow pace before coming to a complete stop.
The reason for this is because the muscles can tighten and seize up. After a long strength-training session, you should avoid stopping suddenly. Instead, you are best served to use lighter weights and run through your routine one last time with a diminished load.
For instance, after doing a shoulders and back routine, you should do one extra set of each exercise with 30% of the normal weight. This allows the muscles to warm down instead of suddenly stopping. By doing this, you can lower the chances of sudden lactic acid build-up.