I'm watching speed skating on the television -#wearewinter (had to do it, go Canada!) - and one of the announcers keeps talking about how the last lap is so difficult because lactic acid is building up in the skaters muscles. This is an old myth that has been disproved, but continues to go around because professionals (the announcer was former olympic medalist) keep saying it! I usually don't get too riled up about it, because who really cares right? Well, this time I care because the olympics are probably one of the most watched events of the year, so this misinformation is getting passed to a large audience. Ok, so maybe no one really cares what causes the burn in your muscles with intense exercise, maybe no one cares that the pioneering study on lactic acid was done an a frog cadaver in 1929, maybe no one cares that there are so many other factors at play that cause the fatigue. But we should. We should know actual facts and we should pass on the facts and not the fictions.
My problem is not necessarily with the myth itself, or with the fact that the announcer continually said it. My problem starts before that. It starts with the highschool coaches or PE teachers telling their young students that lactic acid is causing your muscles to burn. Youth hold onto stuff, even when we find out the truth it's hard to forget stuff that you were told when you were a kid. Someone once told me that monsters live under the stairs leading up to your house. To this day I run up those stairs in night lest a gnarly hand grab me and pull me to the inner bowels of the earth below. I know it's crazy, but when I was a kid it made sense and I can't let go of it. So pass on scientific truths to you children, not something that your coach told you, and his coach before him, and so on. Find out facts first, then pass those on. OK? ok.
Sorry to rant folks. I just get irked when the truth is within grasp, but not told because someone's highschool coach told them that your muscle are burning because of lactic acid. I guess it seems to make sense, acid burns... So do protons, phosphate ions, fire! This one is right up there with the 1g of protein/pound of body weight myth . Except at least the lactic acid one at one point had research to support it. I guess that's why it has lasted so long.