Sunday, June 20, 2010

The lactic acid myth, massage and other contradictions

I never get a massage post-exercise - and yes, I have tried it. Like "warming up" by stretching it just didn't seem to make much sense (instead I warm up by gradually increasing my exercise intensity from a low level). Many others report - or at least hold - a different view. And the article quoted below may help explain at least why some myths persist and why sometimes we do things that we don't actually understand...

So does massage reduce the lactic acid build up? No. But then again why is lactic acid painted as a 'bad guy'? It probably isn't.

Phys Ed: Does Massage Help After Exercise? - Well Blog -
Lactic acid is widely believed by many of us outside academia to cause muscle fatigue and soreness after exercise. Physiologists are more skeptical. Recent studies have found few negative effects from lactic acid and, in fact, have shown that it provides fuel for tired muscles. But the studies are not definitive, so “it’s still theoretically possible” that lactic acid has some impact on fatigue

Phys Ed: Does Massage Help After Exercise? - Well Blog -
As a “direct result” of the lessened blood flow to their muscles, Mr. Tschakovsky says, the volunteers being massaged wound up with far less lactic acid removal than the groups who recovered passively or actively. Massage “actually impairs removal of lactic acid from exercised muscle,” Mr. Tschakovsky and his colleagues wrote in their published study.

Phys Ed: Does Massage Help After Exercise? - Well Blog -
“This experiment had a specific aim, to see whether massage improved blood flow and lactic-acid removal in an exercised muscle. It did not. That does not mean massage doesn’t have other beneficial effects. We just don’t necessarily know what they are yet.”