Did you ever wonder how Lance Armstrong gets back on his bike at the Tour de France every day after several days of intense biking without time for recovery? How can he pedal another day? Aren’t his quads sore? Exercise enthusiasts often inquire about the best method to reduce muscle soreness following intensive training from lactic acid buildup. A recent study in The Journal of Pain found that caffeine can be very effective in the relief of muscle soreness associated with vigorous exercise and training. Subjects were given the equivalent of two cups of coffee 24 and 48 hours after intensive exercise. Caffeine was found to be more effective than naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin. However, it was most effective in those who were not regular caffeine users.
Lactic acid accumulates in the muscles when glucose is burned for fuel during exercise when a chemical called pyruvate is produced. If you perform a mild to moderate workout you are able to provide enough oxygen during the activity to convert the pyruvate to carbon dioxide and water which can be removed by the lungs. However, if the workout is very intense then you do not have enough oxygen to allow all of the pyruvate to be removed by the lungs. The excessive pyruvate is converted to lactic acid and accumulates in the muscles and bloodstream. Lactic acid causes a painful burn in the muscle and limits complete contraction of the muscle.
A combination of proper hydration, nutrition, and training (interval and endurance) will allow for high intensity performance without the negative effects of lactic acid accumulation:
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body. Keep moving, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly