What is lactic acid? | Live science

What is lactic acid? If you’ve ever tried to run as fast as possible at the end of a race or do a series of heavy squats at the gym, you’ve probably experienced an uncomfortable burning sensation and crushing fatigue in your legs.

For many years, exercise scientists have attributed this muscle burn to lactic acid, which was thought to be a byproduct of the metabolic reactions carried out in the muscles to generate the energy they need to fuel your hard workout.

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