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Old 05-03-2006, 10:24 AM   #1
Craig Howard
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25+ yrs of lifting, running & triathlons and I never heard this until yesterday: excess lactic acid in muscles can contribute to increased feelings of anxiety including panic attacks.

I personally feel like I have more anxiety than the average individual (incl. 1 panic attack yrs ago), but I've always credited my busy lifestyle, coffee and Mom's genes. Could lactic acid be the culprit??
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
Robert Wolf
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Craig-

I think a net acid load in the diet might be something to think about but Lactate specificaly...sounds fishy.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:26 PM   #3
Garrett Smith
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I agree with Robb.

Exercise may be the straw that breaks the camel's back for some people, due to a pre-set acidic condition likely caused by poor diet and excessive stress.

Cut down on the endurance exercise, figure out some stress management, consider lowering the coffee intake to 1-2 cups/day, and increase your fruits and vegetables. Should be pretty easy (if you ask me).

Sounds like another excuse by somebody (whomever, doesn't matter) to justify an avoidance of exercising...
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
Justin Algera
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Interesting...I am someone who has had to deal with anxiety all his life, including panic attacks from time to time. Although I have had it under conrtol for the past 5-6 years (no medications however),it wasnt until I really began watching my diet and working out hard, that I have had virtually no issues with anxiety. And even more so, here lately, having been "off the wagon" with my dieting lately, I have seen a re-emergecne of problems with anxiety. Would really like to read more about this however, as I am always researching into anxiety and its causes and effects.
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:42 PM   #5
Craig Howard
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Thank you Robert, Garrett & Justin. I'm a big sceptic too, but a friend said his wife's doctor gave her the advice about exercise.

According to various "nutritional" websites: "Anxiety can also be triggered by elevations in blood lactic acid level. Lactic acid is the final product in the breakdown of blood sugar (glucose) when there is a lack of oxygen."

I'm thinking chicken/egg theory: is the lactic acid present before or after the anxiety? Can't find any real science behind this.

So, I'm terribly averse to taking drugs and cutting exercise doesn't make sense. That said - Justin: what'd you change in your diet?? I'm going to start with Garrett's advice and cut coffee, add more fruits & veggies. I need to take the refined sugars out too, frankly.

Very helpful discussion, guys. Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
Ross Hunt
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Dunno about lactate, but a recent T-nation article cited a study to the effect that steady-state endurance training in large quantities might--or might not--kill T levels.

http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.csulib.ctstateu.edu:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retri eve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16268050&que ry_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:34 PM   #7
Elliot Royce
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I've suffered from anxiety to various degrees during my life. I can't comment scientifically on whether lactic acid can raise the chance of anxiety but it certainly never has for me. I'm the furthest from being anxious when I'm drained from exercise.

Even if it does contribute to anxiety, the exercise itself and the endorphins it releases plus the feeling of self-worth, more than offset it. Several doctors told me specifically to increase exercise to reduce anxiety. I mean lots of things can create anxiety: coffee, tea, a barking dog, crowded areas, certain colors, phone ringing, etc. etc. etc. It's about how you respond to the stimulus, and I respond best in a well conditioned, strong state.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:06 PM   #8
Justin Algera
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Well, my diet was probably worse than anyone's on this site. I was 320 lbs, high blood pressure, cholesterol, you name it. I ate crap and alot of it, I was born and raised in the south so you figured it out :-). Last year I decided it was enough, and just basically cut portion sizes, drank more water, watched the sweets, etc. Lost 125 lbs doing that and working out. Then I found crossfit at the end of last year, and my life was changed even more so. Not only began dropping weight but finally began adding the muscle I was trying to but just couldnt (I have always been fairly muscular due to football) because everything I was doing was basically wrong. And just the general knowledge and level of crossfit was exactly what I was looking for and it just clicked for my wife and I.

As I increased my workouts and began pushing myself more and more (I also began training for triathlons) I noticed that I didnt have any issues with anxiety. It didnt dawn on me, but my wife actually mentioned it and it was like a light went off. I dont know if lactic acid cand increase the instances of anxiety or not, but I can tell you for me its almost like natural Paxil. My workouts will always be part of my life, not just for all the obvious health benefits, but for the mere fact that anxiety is no longer a part of my life. Now if I can just stick to maintaining that damn nutrition (maintenance is sooo much harder than losing).
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:17 PM   #9
Garrett Smith
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Justin,
Great job and keep it up. The rewards are well worth it--as you already know.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:48 AM   #10
Craig Howard
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Great post Justin - that must be your "after" pic. Awesome.

For me I can't scale back my exercise. It is a foundation for life. I dig the endorphins as Elliot described and the feeling of power that comes.

I've already started on diet changes: 1 cup of joe a day max plus more fruits & veggies. I'll update in a few weeks.

Thanks, all.
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