We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Lactic Threshold?

By Erik J.J. Goserud
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Everything we do requires energy — from shaking someone's hand to mowing the lawn to changing the channel. Even when no physical activity is present, there are a number of metabolic processes occurring that need energy to continue. The energy pathways within the body that enable any type of energy-requiring work often release a number of undesirable by-products as they take place. One of these by-products is lactic acid, and the lactic threshold refers to the point at which this chemical begins to rapidly increase in the bloodstream.

Ordinarily, a state of equilibrium exists in the body in which the amount of lactic acid produced is equal to the amount being removed. During moderate activity, this equilibrium is able to be maintained; however, when more intensive physical activity is in the works, an imbalance may occur. This imbalance is primarily due to the vast amount of energy needed to perform certain physical tasks.

Energy cannot come from just anywhere; the body must produce it utilizing one of its energetic pathways. These pathways can provide more endurance-based energy, as in the case of a person running a marathon, or shorter-term energy boosts, for example, a powerlifter attempting a new maximum weight. The amount of lactic acid produced and other possible by-products is dependent upon which pathways are utilized and varies according to exercise demands.

The human body is a system of checks and balances working together to maintain an equilibrium most desirable for well-being. The lactic threshold represents the body being out of sorts with this equilibrium. Normally, lactic acid is removed at roughly the same rate as it is produced, allowing for a balance. With extreme exercise, the body must create energy at a faster-than-standard rate, causing a spike in lactic acid so dramatic that the body is unable to remove it from the bloodstream quickly enough to maintain desirable levels — this is the onset of a lactic threshold.

Those who are athletes or have experienced intensive exercise have also likely experienced the lactic threshold. The lactic threshold is characterized by a burning sensation deep within the muscle fibers. There is evidence that this burning is not actually caused by lactic acid itself but rather other acidic by-products; however, the medical community mostly agrees that this sensation is the initial onset of a lactic threshold.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.