Re: HEALTH: lactic acid and muscle development?

From: Robert Coyote (coyyote@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 13:23:00 MST


Borrowed from another site..........

Efficiency of Waste Removal and Structural Repairs

Workouts are hell on your muscles. They generate free radicals, produce
lactic acid, cause microscopic tears in the muscles and tendons and
basically turn your body into a metabolic scene reminiscent of Braveheart
after the Scotts got their butts kicked. The faster your body can get rid of
the dead (metabolic wastes) and fix the wounded (structural damage), the
faster it can be ready for action.

Faster and more complete recovery of this kind will lead to far more
progress in the long run because of more quality workouts and less time lost
to injuries. Unfortunately, forgetting about your body's recovery
immediately after your post-workout shake isn't going to cut it.

To claim victory here you have to form a multi-pronged attack. To speed the
removal of the metabolic wastes after working out, simply use a cool-down
(10 to 15 minutes of light aerobic activity) and stretch for 10 to 15
minutes after that. Don't scoff; the cool-down is an essential part of
recovery. It helps your heart pump fresh blood in and pump waste-ridden
blood out of your muscles. Stretching helps to "wring" the muscles of even
more of these casualties of war. Stretching after training also helps speed
recovery since muscles won't really start to recover until they return to
their normal length. (Strength training leaves the muscles in a shortened
state.)

As far as speeding the repair of structural damage, my first two
recommendations involve supplements that will give your body the raw
materials needed for the repairs. Protein is obviously key (preferably with
most coming from whey and casein) and the recommendation of 1 to 1.5 grams
per pound of bodyweight is usually sufficient. I also recommend using a
glucosamine/chondroitin combination. Don't wait until you need it to start
using this powerful supplement duo. The whole idea is to be aggressive and
head off any problems before they arise.

Stretching also helps speed the structural regeneration of your body, so
take 15 minutes every day and stretch. I personally use and recommend the
routine described in Ian King's article The Lazy Man's Guide to Stretching.
Stop making excuses why you can't stretch. Put a towel by your couch so that
when you're sitting there watching television you'll be reminded to get on
the floor and stretch. Don't worry, you can still watch Tony Soprano whack
people and get in a good stretching session.

Lastly, make use of one of the most powerful (and least used) regeneration
techniques massage. Massage is perhaps the oldest technique known to
mankind for speeding recovery and has an almost endless list of therapeutic
affects including removal of metabolic waste, restoration of optimum muscle
tension and length and circulation of lymph, just to name a few.

You don't even have to shell out the $50+ dollars an hour to put it to work
for you. All you need to do is find a massage school near you that has a
student clinic. At these student clinics you can get an hour long full-body
massage for $20 to $30. Since massage students must log a certain number of
hours to receive their certifications, almost all schools have some form of
this, so ask around. Get a massage two to four times a month and I'll
guarantee that you'll feel and notice the difference.

In battle, every good general knows that staying one step ahead of the enemy
is the only way you can really hope to defeat him. Taking these steps will
make sure your body can clean up the battlefield and get the reserves in
place as quickly as possible to do just that.

Many sources of fitness advise advocate stretching or cooling down after a
workout to flush lactic acid from fatigued muscles. This has clear
benefits of reducing soreness and reducing lost flexibility.

I am curious, however, about the relationship between lactic acid and
promotion of new muscular growth. By flushing the lactic acid from one's
muscles, is one reducing the muscle growth that will result from the
workout?

Any input is appreciated.

thanks,
mez

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