Although lactic acid was accused of causing acidosis, yet it is now believed it does not make the cell acidic. When we look back at the scientific literature on this issue it is clear that scientists have been questioning the error about lactic acid for decades (>).

Even if lactic acid can contribute to muscle pain after a workout, it is only one of many possible causes: “Although it is commonly believed that lactic acid is responsible for this pain, evidence suggests that it is not the only factor. However, no single factor has ever been identified“.

Now that we know that lactate only causes temporary aches, you’re probably wondering what causes the muscle tenderness you may feel two days. The soreness that you feel after your workout has nothing to do with lactate. It is actually due to micro trauma within the muscle fibres—tiny tears.

So what does cause soreness? Science still can’t answer that question conclusively. Most likely, your muscles get sore because exercises causes microscopic tears in the tissue, which causes inflammation and a heightened sense of pain. The good news (and more proof that lactic acid buildup isn’t to blame) is that the more you do an exercise, the less sore you’ll feel thanks to the repeated bout effect. Your body actually makes adaptations after you do an exercise the first few times to make sure your muscles don’t get as damaged the next time. What a pal.

As far as getting rid of that soreness? Science doesn’t have much of an answer for that, either. “When you look for objective evidence that things like massage, compression and cold water work, you can’t always find a consistent story,” Michael J. Joyner writes in Sports Illustrated.

Light exercise and pain relievers work a bit, but their effects don’t last. A huge systematic review published in 2011 found that, to quote the title, “Stretching before or after exercise does not reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness.” Even still, plenty of people swear by it, while others love a hot bath or an easy jog. There’s no harm in doing what feels good for you.

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For more exercise science, check out “The Runner’s Body: How the Latest Exercise Science Can Help You Run Stronger, Longer, and Faster” by Ross Tucker, Jason Dugas, and Matt Fitzgerald. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.


However, if you still feel you need to reduce levels of lactic acid here is the list of supplements, foods and herbal remedies that can help:

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) helps reduce recovery time after intense exercise and helps reduce lactic acid, which causes soreness.

– Animal studies show that a deficiency of Alpha lipoic acid results in reduced muscle mass, brain atrophy, failure to thrive and increased lactic acid accumulation.

Tart Cherry is very important for the post exercise lactic acid elimination from muscles. Tart cherry juice has also shown to reduce inflammation, muscle damage and pain, increase cycling economy and maximum strength following high-intensity exercise.

Magnesium may help reduce lactic acid production during physical activity (>).


– Do breathing exercises

– Drink plenty of water

– Avoid drugs and alcohol

– Gradually build up to intense workouts