Updated: Nov 16
For athletes constantly pushing their limits is a part of their daily routine. However there are downsides to pushing hard one of which involves loosing white blood cells (leukocytes).
Lactic acid's role in sports performance has long been a topic of debate. Traditionally, it's been the villain blamed for muscle fatigue, soreness, and lackluster results. But recent studies are changing the narrative, revealing that lactic acid can actually be an influencer in athletic performance. Understanding the body's complex relationship with lactic acid and accurately monitoring its levels can be the key to unlocking your full athletic potential.
Lactic acid is produced as a byproduct when the body taps into its energy reserves during high-intensity activities, where oxygen supply falls short of demand. In these moments, glucose is broken down to generate ATP for energy production. When oxygen isn't readily available, lactic acid forms—a process known as anaerobic glycolysis.
Contrary to popular belief, lactic acid doesn't directly trigger muscle fatigue or soreness; in fact, it can serve as an energy source for the body. Through the Cori cycle, lactic acid gets converted back into glucose in the liver, which can then be used for sustained energy during prolonged exercise.
Moreover, lactic acid plays a vital role in enabling the body to adapt to and endure high-intensity exercise effectively.
As lactic acid levels rise, the body responds by elevating its lactate threshold—the point at which lactic acid accumulates in muscles. Athletes can enhance their body's ability to clear lactic acid and delay fatigue by training at or just above this threshold.
There are various methods to measure lactic acid levels, including blood tests and urine analysis. While blood tests are considered the gold standard, they require a visit to a healthcare professional and can be invasive. In contrast, urine analysis provides a non-invasive and convenient option for athletes seeking to regularly monitor their lactic acid levels.
Urine analysis delivers critical insights into an athlete's lactic acid levels. By examining urine samples, athletes can gauge how efficiently their body is metabolizing lactic acid and pinpoint any imbalances or issues that might impact their performance. This invaluable information can then be used to fine-tune training programs and optimize recovery strategies.
Urine analysis to measure lactic acid levels,
To conduct a urine analysis to measure lactic acid levels, athletes can use non-invasive at-home test kits. These tests typically involve collecting a urine sample and employing a user-friendly test kit to quantify lactic acid levels. Regularly monitoring lactic acid levels through urine analysis equips athletes with a deeper understanding of how their body responds to training.
It empowers them to identify any factors that may be hindering their performances by maintaining a comprehensive record of lactic acid levels over time, athletes can make informed decisions regarding training intensity, recovery strategies, and nutritional requirements. For example, if an athlete consistently experiences elevated lactic acid levels post-workout, it could be a sign of excessive exertion or inadequate recovery time. Conversely, consistently low lactic acid levels might suggest that the athlete isn't training at an intensity that stimulates adaptations.
In addition to monitoring lactic acid levels, athletes should also pay attention to factors that influence both lactic acid production and clearance, such as hydration, nutrition, and sleep. By maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle and optimizing these aspects, athletes can effectively regulate their lactic acid levels and enhance their overall performance.
Understanding how to measure and manage lactic acid levels empowers athletes to fine-tune their training routines and elevate their performance.
Stay tuned for the imminent launch of our solution, the first non-invasive home urine kit that seamlessly integrates with a mobile app, aligning your performance with your health and helping athletes optimize their training routines to reach new heights of performance.
Dr Benoit Cailleteau
Founder Swiss Safe Collect