Date of Award

Winter 4-28-2019

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Thesis Location

Honors College Thesis

Faculty Advisor

Carole Sloan, PhD & Linda Jimenez, PhD


Distance runners and coaches, when discussing fatigue and soreness after a competition and intense training, typically blame lactic acid. Most often the origins of these beliefs have been handed down to the coach or athlete by their coach, who heard it from their coach, and so on. In that respect, the notion that lactic acid was the cause of the aftereffects of intense physical activity was accurate, based on the knowledge available when the theories were created in 1922 by Meyerhoff and Hill who won the Nobel Prize for their discoveries. However, over the last century, advancements in research have found that the theories of the time were not entirely accurate. In an attempt to clear up the rumors that surround lactic acid, an introductory discussion describing cellular energy and its modes of production, followed by a clarification of glycolysis and lactate production, will lead into the explanation of ATP hydrolysis resulting in metabolic acidosis. Afterward, the topics including details about the buffering of the cellular environment and lactate removal, and the descriptions of assessments that measure the amount of lactate buildup will conclude with the importance of training to improve the effects of lactate accumulation.