ABCDEtixx: acidification

When an athlete is performing at a very high intensity, the body mainly gets it energy from the breakdown of glucose and glycogen. During these breakdown processes, lactic acid is formed. This lactic acid element separates into lactate and a proton. This proton lowers the acidity, or pH, of the blood and this is what we call ‘acidification’.

Our body has different ways to cope with this, so the pH of the blood will decrease less quickly and so there will be less acidification and less trouble for the athlete. This buffer capacity is not endless of course.

This capacity can be increased, first of all by training. On the other hand, supplements by example, can also be of help. An example of such a supplement is beta-alanine, which increases the capacity of one kind of bodily buffer.