As many of us hit the gym or go for a run to recover from the silly season, you might notice a bit of extra muscle soreness.
This is especially true if it has been a while between workouts.
A common misunderstanding is that such soreness is due to lactic acid build-up in the muscles.
Research, however, shows lactic acid has nothing to do with it. The truth is far more interesting but also a bit more complex.
It’s not lactic acid
We’ve known for decades that lactic acid has nothing to do with muscle soreness after exercise.
Unfortunately, historical inertia means people still use the term “lactic acid” in relation to exercise.
Lactate isn’t the reason you’re sore a few days after upping your weights or exercising after a long break.
So, if it’s not lactic acid and it’s not lactate, what is causing all that muscle soreness?
Muscle pain during and after exercise
That causes the pressure inside and between muscle cells to increase.
The pain and discomfort you sometimes feel hours to days after an unfamiliar type or amount of exercise has a different