“Lactate is not a waste product and in fact it is the most important gluconeogenic precursor (new glucose generator) in the body.”
Quiet often I hear people talking about lactate as it it is a waste product or something terrible they need to flush from their body, this in fact is not true. Lactate is actually a byproduct when glucose is used by muscle cells during exercise. Lactate is also ‘recycled’ back to glucose, approximately 30% of our energy comes from recycled lactate.
When we exercise at higher levels, we produce larger amounts of lactate. Hydrogen ions are also released during this process, it is these hydrogen ions that have a negative effect on our muscle performance. However, we can observe that the levels of hydrogen ions correspond with our blood lactate levels at given effort loads.
By measuring our lactate levels at given intensities, we can look at corresponding blood lactate levels at any given power or heart rate. This allows us to more accurately set training zones initially, then over time measure performance improvements as blood lactate recycling takes place at higher intensities.