As you work out, your body works itself to a point where it’s easy to overexert. During this time, it’s important that you allow your muscles to repair and recover, especially when it comes to lactic acid build-up. This kind of acid is generated in your muscles and can significantly accumulate over time, mostly due to intense exercise. When you’ve got a lot of this stored up, it can lead to discomfort and aching muscles.
While this build-up is temporary and usually not a reason for concern, it can still affect your ability to reach peak performance of go about your day-to-day activities. In this post, we’re guiding you through how to get rid of lactic acid after a workout, and what you can do to prevent it from accumulating in the future.
Rest is everything
Consistency is key when it comes to reaching fitness goals, but you also need to make sure you’re getting enough rest in between your sessions. While you might be itching to jump on the treadmill or hit the weights, it’s important to consider whether your muscles need a bit of TLC before you dive back into it.
We recommend having at least one day of full rest a week – this allows your body to break up any excess lactic acid. If you’d like to get moving on these ‘days off’, light exercise is okay.
The skin is made up of 90% water, and your muscles are also fuelled by this life source. While we’re sure you’ve heard it enough, getting enough water into your body throughout the day (not just during and after workouts) is crucial.
Efficient hydration has a number of benefits, including:
- Restoring any fluids lost when exercising
- Eliminates lactic acid
- Creates energy through nutrients
- Eliminates soreness in your muscles
- Stops muscle cramps
- Keeps your performance at peak levels.
The science still isn’t 100% sold on the amount you need, but we always encourage the standard 8 glasses a day.
Breathe in, breathe out
Have a habit of rushing around? Take a moment to get your breathing in order and take the time to improve your technique. Those that are able to remain in control of their breathing patterns during exercise are far more likely to perform better and decrease lactic acid levels.
Try this: inhale slowly through your nose and take your time to breath out through your mouth. You can also hold your breath for a few seconds, following each inhalation, but only aim for this if you feel comfortable with it.
Spending a few minutes a day practising this will help your workouts in the long run, and may help to deliver more oxygen to your muscles – something that’s key to keeping lactic acid levels down.
No matter how intense your workout is going to be, make sure you set aside a few minutes to stretch and warm-up both before and after. Your muscles will thank you, and you’ll thank us for reminding you – we promise.
What are your favourite tips for keeping your muscles in check?