There are many supplements (and some nutrients) that helps to reduce lactic acid content. Lactic acid is naturally produced. It is what causes that “burning” feeling when you work out. Exercising safely and a good diet can help control lactic acid buildup but it’s impossible to get rid of it completely during intense workout sessions.
In this piece, we are going to look at the best supplements that can help the most. Before we go on to talk about what supplement helps reduce lactic acid, however, we have to discuss what lactic acid is and why it is not the culprit behind muscle soreness and fatigue.
Yep, that’s right. You don’t need lactic acid supplements if your only problem is the fatigue and soreness on the days that follow an intense workout.
What is lactic acid and what does it do to your body?
Lactic acid forms in the cells when oxygen intake is limited. Normal oxygen consumption in the cells automatically discards waste products – lactic acid being one of them. However, limited oxygen intake makes the aerobic and anaerobic processes insufficient and consequently, unable to catch up to waste production.
Excessive lactic acid contributes to that burning sensation you feel during an intense workout because oxygen intake decreases significantly when you workout.
Lactic acid doesn’t cause soreness and muscle fatigue after the days following an intense workout. It’s an old myth. And with shorter workout sessions, the body learns to remove lactic acid naturally quicker.
If you are experiencing muscle soreness and fatigue in the days following exercise then it’s due to inadequate nutrition. Also, make sure you give your muscles sufficient rest to avoid damage to them. And that shall do it, you won’t even need lactic acid supplements.
If you are trying to fight that sensation of “burn” during a workout then you are at the right place. Let’s look at the best supplements that help reduce lactic acid during and after a workout session.
What supplement helps reduce lactic acid?
There are three types of supplements that you can take to reduce lactic acid buildup or improve the cellular elimination of lactic acid during workouts.
Note that regardless of the supplement you choose, make sure you have consulted with a doctor regarding the dosage and your particular use case.
Omega-3 and protein
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally a great supplement. They are heart health essentials and additionally improve metabolism as well as brain function. Fish and nuts include plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. As these acids include a rich reserve of protein, these supplements also aid in muscle growth, repair, and ultimately, recovery.
High-quality supplements built on the core ingredient of omega-3 fatty acids are great to manage lactic acid levels in your body during intense workout sessions.
A 2014 study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements help in muscle recovery after “heavy eccentric exercise”.
The body naturally produces this amino acid. Creatine also comes from a protein-rich diet. This substance converts to phosphate with metabolism and gets stored in the muscles. This stored phosphate is then used when the cells in your muscles require energy during exercise or any type of physical exertion.
If you have plenty of creatine in your muscles then it acts as a lactic acid buffer. It additionally aids in muscular recovery if taken after a workout. One of the best things about creatine is that it can be taken in powder, liquid, or tablet form – or as mixed in a drink or smoothie!
Extended usage of creatine, however, comes with some negative side effects and you should consult with your doctor before you take any creatine supplement.
Magnesium is noted for its help in the production of energy and also in metabolism. Magnesium is one of those key nutrients that the body cannot produce but needs badly. It has been widely reported that magnesium supplements help reduce lactic acid buildup during intense workout sessions.
You can take magnesium from food as well. Most notably, legumes, leafy greens, whole grains, and nuts include plenty of magnesium. If you choose to go with supplements then you still have a bunch of different options to choose from.
Magnesium supplements are typically taken mixed with some magnesium-buffering compounds and substances because pure magnesium injected directly into the bloodstream can cause hypermagnesemia, which can lead to complications in heart maintenance and the optimal functioning of the nervous system as healthy magnesium levels (1.5 to 2.5 mEq/L) are required to manage these.
Wrapping up: Supplements for lactic acid
Finding what supplement helps reduce lactic acid might sound like an easy task. With all these new products on the shelves and online, the market is also becoming increasingly saturated with riskier, low-quality, and infrequently tested products that claim to solve the lactic acid problem.
But do they really work? Only good research can figure that out.
So, though we have listed what compounds you are looking for (namely, omega-3 fatty acids, creatine, and magnesium), the job is not done. Now, it’s up to you to find the best supplement for your use.
You are going to find plenty of over-the-counter supplements that claim to fight lactic acid and improve muscle recovery. Always consult with a doctor before you buy and use any such product.
Almost all supplements can be bad for your body if taken in excess. We strongly recommend consulting with your trainer, physician, or doctor before you take any type of supplementation. But in general, we can approximate that when taken in moderate amounts, magnesium supplements are the best supplement to help reduce lactic acid while omega-3 fatty acid supplements are better if you are okay with slower effects with lower risk, especially if your diet is already rich in pure magnesium.
We hope to have helped you find what supplement helps reduce lactic acid – and actually have a few options to choose from depending on your requirements and preferences.
Happy working out!