How To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling: 4 Effective Methods For Beginners

how to stop lactic acid when cycling

Lactic acid accumulation during cycling exercise can slow down or stop the workout. Yet, how to stop lactic acid when cycling. Here’re the solutions.



Overexertion when working out, especially cycling, might result in undesired injuries and the buildup of lactic acid. Thus, how to stop lactic acid when cycling is a puzzle to every cyclist.

Fortunately, we have 4 methods right here. So, keep reading for essential information and solutions to prevent this buildup during your high-intensity exercise.

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What Is Lactic Acid?

This substance is a byproduct of glycogen and glucose metabolism in the blood and muscles. According to the Farlex Medical Dictionary, it is a three-carbon organic acidity built up by anaerobic respiration.

So what breaks lactic acid down?

Glycogen is the primary source of energy. The glycolysis process breaks them down into glucose, splitting Glycogen into two pyruvic acids and releasing Adenosine 5′-triphosphate – ATP.

The condition to release this ATP is that pyruvic acids enter the mitochondria and must be in oxidation. If oxygen isn’t enough for that process, the pyruvic acids will convert to lactic acid.

In simpler terms, it will build up due to overexerting exercise. The accumulation usually is transitory and not cause for alarm. Yet, it can make your exercises uncomfortable and stop them.

4 Methods On How To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling

Stay Hydrated

How do you prevent lactic acid when cycling? The rule of thumb is to stay hydrated. Because up to 70% of the human body is water, it is critical in any case, especially when exercising.

Moreover, this substance will be soluble in water. Thus, the more hydrated we stay, the less feeling of burn we experience due to lactic acid buildup during the workout.

Water also benefits in preventing cramps and maintaining your body's peak performance.

Thus, you need to drink water throughout your cycling exercise, both before and after. Remember that you may have been dehydrated before the time you feel thirsty.

Drink water following the suggestions below while cycling:

  • Drink 236 ml to 473 ml before cycling.
  • Then, after every 20 or 30 minutes, go for 240 ml of water.
Stay Hydrated To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling

Stay Hydrated To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling

Breath Correctly And Deeply

Remember to focus on getting enough oxygen is the key factor for cycling workouts.

You might try to take deep, steady breaths to maintain a stable oxygen flow. This step may assist in transporting more oxygen to decrease its development speed.

Let's try a popular breathing method that every athlete use:

  • Inhale softly and slowly through the nose and exhale by the mouth.
  • After every inhalation, you can hold your breath for seconds and then control to exhale slowly with your mouth. When getting familiar already, you can extend the time holding your breath.
  • Repeat the technique several times.

Refer to this video for the breath technique for beginners.

This easy breathing method can help you enhance your breath and expand your lung capacity. If you can, practice it all day and apply it to stop getting out of breath when cycling.

Nutrition In Your Diet

Ensuring the amount of magnesium in your diet can help you avoid muscular discomfort and spasms associated with minimizing lactic acid buildup at bay.

It can also benefit in optimizing energy generation, and muscles can receive enough oxygen during cycling.

Magnesium is abundant in vegetables: spinach, chard, turnip greens, collard greens, navy beans, green beans, and kidney beans. You can also find it chock-full in sesame, pumpkin, and tofu.

Aside from magnesium, a cyclist's nutrition diet also needs omega fatty acids. It gives lean protein for long-lasting energy throughout the ride. That's why it is also known for having anti-inflammatory effects in handling muscle pain.

Baking soda contains alkaline, meaning it neutralizes acids. Thus, cyclists are recommended to drink baking soda first to minimize this substance. Follow this formula for a healthy drink:

  • Baking soda: 3 gr
  • Body weight: 1 kg
  • Water: 12 oz

Moreover, orange juice should be on the pre-workout regimen to lower lactate and increase athletic performance.

Nutrition In Your Diet To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling

Nutrition In Your Diet To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling

Warm-Up And Stretch

Another useful method is warm-up and stretching muscles both before and after cycling.

In detail, stretching can help develop flexibility, improve circulation, and relieve any tension. In addition, this prep increases the amount of oxygen supply to muscles, which helps to low lactic acid production and get rid of any buildup.

This substance can disperse 30-60 minutes of your cycling session. So it would be best not to skip stretching your muscles to release it and avoid cramps.

Also, after any strenuous workout, combine it with massaging the fatigue area with your fingertips to decrease any micro-trauma.

Warm-Up And Stretch To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling

Warm-Up And Stretch To Stop Lactic Acid When Cycling


How Long Does Lactic Acid Stay In Muscles?

In fact, the muscle will eliminate lactic acid from a few hours or at most a day after cycling workouts. So it might not be the primary reason people are hurting a few days later.

And if you take the methods in the previous section, you can get rid of them in a shorter time.

How Do I Stop My Legs From Burning When Cycling?

Although you follow these tips above, this doesn't mean that you can completely prevent it from forming. It might cause cycling leg pain.

If you experience lactic acid buildup during your ride, remember not to stop right away. Instead, reduce the cycling intensity and lower your gears.

This will help your legs relax and gradually reduce this substance from the leg muscles. Then, the discomfort should subside.

Can You Massage Out Lactic Acid?

Massage is a common misconception for removing it from the body. In fact, gentle massage only helps to bring comfort and temporarily reduce soreness. The body will automatically eliminate the bulk of lactate within the first hour following vigorous activity.

Is Lactate The Same As Lactic Acid?

These two terms have a lot in common. However, even though people often use the terms lactate and lactic acid interchangeably, they are technically different.

A substance that can donate H+ (hydrogen ions) is acidity. Lactic acid is one of them. When acids contribute a hydrogen ion, the following product will be the acidity conjugate base. And that is Lactate.

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Whether you cycle for sprints or long distances, you always need to know how to stop lactic acid when cycling.

This article has solved your question with 4 easy methods, along with relevant information.

Hopefully, this knowledge will help you be confident in your cycling training. Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions for us.

Ridge Davis

Ridgid Fitness represents the synthesis of Ridge Davis's career experiences in fitness and sports.

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