Robergs, R. A., & Ghiasvand, F. (2001). A reevaluation of the biochemical causes of skeletal muscle acidosis during intense exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1565.

The development of metabolic acidosis is not caused by increased lactate production, but by other biochemical processes. The continual attribution of lactate acidosis as causing the pain that accompanies acute fatigue in sports is wrong.

It was found that several factors, such as glycolytic flux, NADH + H+ accumulation, and ATP hydrolysis contributed to acidosis and lactate accumulation did not.

It was concluded:

". . . metabolic acidosis is not caused by lactate production, and the terms 'lactic acid', and 'lactic acidosis' should not be used. The explanation of metabolic acidosis in the classroom, as well as in biochemistry, physiology, and exercise physiology textbooks should better identify the multifaceted determinants of skeletal muscle acidosis during exercise." (p. S277)

Implication. Using the term lactic acidosis and explaining post exercise "soreness" because of residual lactic acid are wrong. Continual attribution to these erroneous concepts is misleading and damaging to sport, sport science, and coaching.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.