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Lactic Acid Essay

1003 words - 5 pages

Exercise PhysiologyIn researching for my paper I now know why you gave us so much flexibility on what are topic could be. In explaining lactic acid and exercise I am forced to dive into many other areas pertaining to the last few chapters that we have been covering in class. In other words, you are right, this is a good form of studying because exercise physiology is one of those things were you can not understand one part with out understanding the surrounding parts that lead up to what you are focusing on.With that in mind I will begin with explaining how lactic acid is formed. I like to think of it, while wait, I really don't like to think of it, but anyway, the build up of lactic acid is ...view middle of the document...

No we are getting to the build up. The build up consists of hydrogen ions which make the muscle acidic. This interferes with carrier molecules called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) along the electron transport gate in the mitochondria (POWER HOUSE OF THE CELL), here the hydrogen gets left behind and combines with oxygen and forms water. Now this is the key to lactic acid. If there is a lack of oxygen molecules in the mitochondria (anaerobic activity) the hydrogen has no where to go. "To prevent the rise in acidity pyruvic acid accepts H+ forming lactic acid which then dissociates into lactate and H+."(source#2) What this is saying is that when the mitochondria gets so backed up that it can no longer take any more hydrogen the lactate accepts the hydrogen. The average untrained person will start to feel the onset of blood lactate accumulation once they reach between 50 and 60 percent of their VO2 max. A trained athlete can prevent this onset for up to 75% of VO2 max. (source3) Now this is where or when lactic acid is felt in exercise. The normal levels of hydrogen are boosted and in a sense blood that is being brought to muscles is contaminated or acidic. "This acidic environment will slow down enzyme activity and ultimately the breakdown of glucose itself. Acidic muscles will aggravate associated nerve endings causing pain and increase irritation of the central nervous system. The athlete may become disorientated and feel nauseous." (source#2) With a better understanding of how lactic acid gets into and affects our system lets take a few looks at different ways we can go about preventing lactic acid from having a negative effect on our performance.The first key to minimizing lactic acid build up is to minimize the amount of oxygen that the muscles require for...

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