You've probably experienced the bodily reactions associated with intense anaerobic activity or physical exertion. Breathlessness and muscle fatigue are not exclusive to athletes, although high-level athletes certainly feel the effort to an exceptionally high degree. Regardless of the intensity of the effort, the results are the same for everyone. It's important to have a biological understanding of how the human body reacts to physical stress to know how to recover best. In this article, we will discuss the process of lactic acid accumulation in the blood and active recovery programs with Compex.

A man stretching his legs after intense anaerobic activity

What is the Anaerobic Process?

When we engage in physically intense activity, our lungs demand faster breathing. The body struggles to supply oxygen to the working muscles. The body prefers to produce energy aerobically, through the exchange of oxygen between the environment and the muscles. However, more intense activities require energy production at a rate higher than what oxygen alone can provide. When the body cannot supply energy solely through oxygen, it uses what is called pyruvate. Pyruvate is a breakdown product of glucose (blood sugar). The body converts pyruvate into lactate and then converts it back into glucose. This is called the anaerobic process, or the Cori cycle.

This type of activity limits energy production, which usually lasts only a few seconds to a few minutes. During this time, lactate accumulates to high levels. But what difference does this make?

High levels of lactate in the body increase the acidity of muscle cells. Moreover, this creates an environment that inhibits glucose breakdown, the very activity that lactase makes possible. While this may seem counterintuitive, it is a defense mechanism of the body to prevent extreme damage caused by high levels of physical activity intensity.

This lactic acid buildup is commonly referred to as the "muscle pump" and corresponds to the burning sensation associated with high-repetition or high-intensity activity. When the pain or discomfort from this physical response finally forces us to stop, the body enters a recovery state where it eliminates the lactate buildup. This restores the body to a physical state ready for another anaerobic effort.

How Anaerobic Activity Impacts Training

How can this knowledge of anaerobic effort positively impact our training? On one hand, increasing our aerobic conditioning will improve athletic performance by extending the body's ability to use oxygen. This is a more accessible, available, and sustainable energy production source.

On the other hand, how we approach training is also important. Being mentally prepared can help us endure intense discomfort for longer periods.

Finally, intentional physical recovery practices aimed at eliminating lactate buildup as quickly as possible are incredibly beneficial for an athlete performing in high-intensity sports. Especially if the athlete is chaining together competitions or intense training sessions and needs to recover as quickly as possible.

A man recovering his legs after intense anaerobic activity using the Compex SP 8.0 muscle stimulator

Compex Active Recovery Programs

Compex muscle stimulators boast the active recovery program precisely for immediate recovery after intense anaerobic activity. The total duration of the program is approximately 24 minutes with different stimulation frequencies. This program reduces the lactic acid concentration in the blood by about 40%. It also promotes blood circulation in the concerned area, bringing vital nutrients and even oxygen.

For these reasons, athletes should use this program immediately after an anaerobic training session or competition to maximise recovery in minimal time. In competition, this can be a significant advantage for the athlete who is chaining events, allowing them to regain peak physical condition for the next event.

When it comes to performance, high-level athletes recognize the crucial importance and incredible benefits of intentional recovery methods. Along with good nutrient management, hydration, and mobility, using muscle electrostimulation with Compex offers a considerable advantage to reaching your highest physical capacities, which you may not have yet imagined.

Proven Effectiveness

Backed by clinical studies proving their effectiveness, Compex stimulators also belong to the category of Class II medical devices. They also meet the needs of the European Medical Standard 93/42 EEC.

A man recovering his legs after intense anaerobic activity using the Compex SP 8.0 muscle stimulator

Compex - Always with you

We're on the side of athletes, amateurs and ordinary people, from the search for better performance to post injury recovery, from post fatigue massage to pain treatment. At Compex, we have just one goal: people's well being.

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