• Question: if lactic acid is poisonous why do we have it in our bodies and what will happen if our bodies intake too much lactic acid?

    Asked by chanterichards to Josh, Serena, Simone, Stuart on 26 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Stuart Archer

      Stuart Archer answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      That’s a good question 🙂

      We don’t really take in lactic acid in the food we eat – it’s produced in our muscles when we exercise heavily. Our muscles burn ‘glucose’ (a type of sugar) when they work, and one of the breakdown products from glucose is lactic acid -We have chemicals called ‘enzymes’ in our bodies that normally remove the lactic acid. However, when you exercise hard, these enzymes can’t remove it fast enough, resulting in a build up of the acid in your muscles – it’s this which causes the soreness in your muscles when you work them hard!

      If we have too much lactic acid in our blood, then it can lead to a condition called ‘lactic acidosis’, which can affect the chemistry of your blood and cause things like vomiting, stomach pain and other symptoms (you may have noticed a couple of these after exercise!). Rest, water and breathing heavily for a while usually corrects it!