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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read an interesting article the other day regarding Lactic Acid....

The author stated that if you sit in a bath tub of cold water for 15 minutes, you will flush out the lactic acid after you exit the tub. The theory being, the cold water will constrict the blood vessels and when you remove the cold from the legs, the vessels will dialate and allow the blood to flush out the LA...... :confused:

I've eliminated LA from my rides, so this isn't an issue with me.....but I don't see what the above method would do for a rider who is straddling his bike at a 45 mile marker with legs 'locked up' so bad that it practically brings tears to the eyes :eek: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should have been more specific

kpcw said:
You eliminated Lance Armstrong from your rides? ;)

Impossibe that you eliminated lactic acid from cycling. Unless you are pedaling at such a low force that no lactic acid is generated...you do indeed create lactic acid (and you should want to) it's just that your heart, lungs and muscles are well trained to recover and eliminate it fairly quickly.

I've eliminated cramps due to Lactic Acid (LA).....I used to get horriffic cramps at about 45 miles on very hot days.....I've learned to control my electrolytes and don't worry about cramps anymore... :D
 

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******* said:
kpcw said:
I've eliminated cramps due to Lactic Acid (LA).....I used to get horriffic cramps at about 45 miles on very hot days.....I've learned to control my electrolytes and don't worry about cramps anymore... :D
What makes you think lactic acid causes cramps?

Or for that matter, at rest there would be any appreciable amounts of lactic acid in muscle to be flushed out by the cold bath (assuming this would even increase blood flow thru the muscle)?
 

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kpcw said:
Good points, the articles I offered alter the way one views lactic acid. Recent studies are much different than 1929. Physasst will have a few things to say on this, perhaps.
One of the interests of the lab where I did my PhD work was muscle fatigue. By the mid to late '90s I would say the paradigm had shifted from viewing lactic acid as a unwanted "end product" of glycolysis to viewing it as an intermediate that is used to shift the products of glycolysis from areas where they can't be oxidized to areas where they can be used. Mostly due to the work of G.A. Brooks. It's taken about 10 years for that information to filter into the "coaching" literature and is still far from common knowledge amongst athletes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For me, proof is in the pudding...

Dwayne Barry said:
What makes you think lactic acid causes cramps?

Or for that matter, at rest there would be any appreciable amounts of lactic acid in muscle to be flushed out by the cold bath (assuming this would even increase blood flow thru the muscle)?
http://www.cptips.com/muspain.htm#muscrmp
http://www.health-nexus.com/muscle_cramps.htm

All I can say is that if I use Lite Salt during (& some bicarbonate of soda after a ride of >55 miles) a ride, I don't suffer cramps; no Lite Salt and I'm about 95% sure of developing cramps....it works for me.
 

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Yeah, but

MikeBiker said:
I'm also a fan of Lite Salt. Potassium and sodium are great for preventing cramps.
I agree completely, and would add (along with others) that it has nothing to do with lactic acid. CA stated that he had eliminated cramps by taking electrolytes and he somehow thinks that this has something to do with lactic acid. This is simply wrong.
 

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I thought that most cramps were actually caused by dehydration, not lactic acid. So the replacement of electrolytes and fluid replacement during your ride would alleviate cramping if you drink enough to counter the amount loss through riding and sweating. I could be wrong, if so, please clarify.
 

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******* said:
http://www.cptips.com/muspain.htm#muscrmp
http://www.health-nexus.com/muscle_cramps.htm

All I can say is that if I use Lite Salt during (& some bicarbonate of soda after a ride of >55 miles) a ride, I don't suffer cramps; no Lite Salt and I'm about 95% sure of developing cramps....it works for me.
You're totally missing the point. I wouldn't be surprised at all that something like Lite Salt would affect cramping because one of the factors in cramping is probably eloctrolytes. That has nothing to do with lactic acid. I don't recall ever reading anything implicating lactic acid being involved in cramping and mechanistically I'm not sure why it would be.
 

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Clarification

555Rider said:
I thought that most cramps were actually caused by dehydration, not lactic acid. So the replacement of electrolytes and fluid replacement during your ride would alleviate cramping if you drink enough to counter the amount loss through riding and sweating. I could be wrong, if so, please clarify.
The assumption (not stated) in my post is that you are indeed adequately hydrating along with the salt intake. If you sweat out a lot of salt, then drinking alone will not help, because your electrolyte balance is all messed up and the water won't stay with you (or you get hyponatremia, which is bad). So yes, hydration to make sure you have available water, and salts to make sure the water stays in your body where it's needed. Without the salts, there's a tendency to 1) not absorb the water well from the stomach, 2) just piss away the water (very dilute urine), 3) sweat away the water (very dilute sweat), and/or 4) get all screwed up heading toward hyponatremia. Cramps often come with any or all of these. And once again, it has nothing to do with lactic acid.
 
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