Detoxifing muscles??

I just started working out in a gym, and I’m very sore (which I expected), but I feel crummy too. My otherwise knowledgeable friend said that “my muscles were releasing the trapped toxins into my body” and that I’d be pooing a lot the next day. Well the latter came true, but the premise seems a little hokie. How do toxins in the muscles get into the digestive system? How did these toxins get there in the first place?

I am not a doctor, but…

A byproduct of the chemical reactions involved in muscle contraction is lactic acid. This gets flushed out into your blood stream and is processed by your kidneys into your urine. I can’t see how it would go from your blood to your digestive system. Maybe you’re pooping more because you’re more hungry after working out and are eating more?

When you work your muscles hard, lactic acid builds up in your muscles because your blood can’t flush it out fast enough. This (I think) is partly responsible for muscle fatigue at the end of a heavy series of exercises. You know, that point where you can’t even hold onto the weight any more.

Doing cooling off exercises and stretching after working out is critical to helping your muscles flush away lactic acid. Left in your muscles, lactic acid is one of the things that causes soreness the day after you work out. Another is that working your muscles to failure causes microscopic damage to your muscle tissue (that bit could be UL).

And always warm up and stretch before starting your workout. This is will reduce your soreness and greatly reduce your chance of injury.

In any case, after working hard, your muscles need time to repair and grow in response to the stress that your workout put them under. A rule of thumb is to never work the same muscle two days in a row.

You feel crummy probably because you’re dehydrated. All that sweating and muscle activity and repair requires a lot of water, much more than you probably think. Some people say you should drink at least a gallon of water a day, more if you’re working hard in a hot place. I dunno about that, but it’s easy to tell if you’re properly hydrated: Your urine should be “copious and clear”. If it looks like Sprite (without the carbonation) and if you get up once or twice a night to urinate, you’re doing ok. If it’s cloudy or strongly colored, you’re not drinking enough.

Also, now that you’ve started going to the gym, make sure to eat right. Lots of fruit and vegetables, avoid fats, you know the deal.

And sleep. Working out is hard work. Get plenty of sleep.

And remember to wash behind your ears.

And mind your manners.

And respect your elders.

And…what? Oh, sorry. I’ll stop now.

Lactic acid forms because the muscle switch to anaerobic respiration under strenuous exercise and blood glucose is partially oxidised to lactic acid instead of carbon dioxide.The ‘cooling off’ phase flushes out the lactic acid and oxidizes it to carbon dioxide.
That’s why aerobic exercises are called so-there isn’t much lactic acid formed(usually).Anyway,that’s a bit OT.

As mentioned,the toxins can’t really go back to the intestines.Maybe it was the just the movement which stimulated your bowels?

Re: The bowels. Your activity is stimulating prostaglandin production, typical when muscles are not used to being worked out like this. Prostaglandins stimulate the bowels to be more active. More stooling. Take some ibuprofen (if not otherwise contra-indicated).

This may not be the whole story, but it’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Qadgop, MD