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Lactic acid

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fabikp

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2010
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3
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Hello everybody, I have maybe quite specialized medicine question, but let´s try: one of my freediving training method is running up the hill while breatholding.
At the end of the run I feel quite strong sticking pain in muscles of my legs due to high level of lactic acid (or lactate to be precise). In my opinion the same process should be going on in my heart - it is a muscle, too and it is working heavily during the run with a lack of oxygen. But I never feel any pain in my heart. So I suppose there are two possibilities: 1. heart muscle for any reason doesn´t create any (or little) lactic acid or
2. it does, but I don´t feel it
If the 2. is right are there any detrimental consequences for my heart because of high lactate level?

I will appreciate any knowledge on this topic. Pavel
 

grarena

Active Member
Jan 19, 2019
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Wow. Complicated question. I’ll throw this out. Lactic acid on skeletal muscle might act differently than cardiac striated muscle. Also in the Face Of acidosis Oxygen more readily leaves the RBCs to the tissues. The heart and brain also can use lactic acid as fuel. This is a protective mechanism. No worries about doing what you are doing except don’t pass out, fall then hurt yourself.
 

fabikp

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2010
29
3
58
Yes " Lactic acid on skeletal muscle might act differently than cardiac striated muscle" may be an explanation but I don´t know the difference and it is still only my theory. Anyway thanks for answer.
 

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
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To give a basic reply.. (you can do the googling required to get proper sources if you want)..

1) The heart muscle(s) has around 10x more mitochondria than any other muscle cell in the body, meaning that even during very intense workloads, the heart has about 10x the reserve capacity to continue functioning correctly even after lactic accumulation starts to happen in the heart muscle.

2) The heart has direct and 1st priority access to freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs: Literally all of you blood passes from lungs directly to the heart to heart. So even during extremely intense exercise far beyond your VO2-max, the heart is still always getting a massive volume of freshly oxygenated blood, and it's very unlikely to even become lactic in the first place. Under normal circumstances (healthy person) even at max BPM the heart is still mostly functioning aerobically. The body would crash well before the heart could suffer any kind of major acidosis.

--

In terms of freediving. Yes of course hypoxia (in the lungs) does limit the oxygenation of the heart muscle. But again, thanks to the high density of mitochondria, the heart can continue to beat without suffering acidosis well beyond the point where every other muscle (and the brain) would fail before that could really happen.

Plus. During apnea the heart mostly stay at or below a resting BPM, so it's not working so hard anyway.
 
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fabikp

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2010
29
3
58
Hi Nathan, many thanks for an in-depth explanation, now I know everything I need and can go on with my training without any worries. Pavel
 
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