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!