When an athlete performs a physically demanding workout the muscles will burn through fuel (glucose) to produce energy (ATP). This happens either aerobically, with the presence of oxygen, or anaerobically, without the presence of oxygen. Your body has one goal in mind when it is performing a physically demanding workout and that's 'don't let your fuel go empty'. In a way, your body is similar to a car. So what does this mean for an anaerobic athlete? To keep this simple, lets imagine you start working out and your heart rate starts to increase, the demand for energy (ATP) goes up. Your body has readily available glucose storage's but because the anaerobic pathways are not very efficient, your glucose storage's are rapidly depleted. Your body finds another way to produce ATP. Depending on your training regiment and how you metabolically condition your body, your body will eventually lack oxygen and start producing ATP through a process called lactic acid fermentation. This is where I would, quantumize your anaerobic threshold. This is the point at which your body starts to ferment the glucose to produce the necessary ATP. Preferably, I would rather call this threshold your lactate threshold because it's the point at which the intensity of the exercise abruptly increases your blood lactate levels. Hypothetically speaking, your body is internally brewing alcohol to break down the glycogen to ATP because it lacks oxygen. This results in the production of lactic acid build up in your muscles and in your blood stream. When your blood stream starts to build up too much lactic acid, you will start to experience early symptoms of lactic acidosis because your blood starts to become acidic. Now, the point at which this happens depends entirely on your training regiments, which metabolic conditioning (MetCon) your body to improve your VO2 max and the maximal amount of oxygen uptake to the muscles will prevent lactic acidosis from happening and will allow you to train harder and recover faster. For trained athletes, this lactate threshold can happen as late as 90% of your max heart rate. For untrained athletes, this lactate threshold can happen as soon as 40% of your max heart rate. Remember, VO2 max is the maximal volume of oxygen uptake to your muscles. When there is oxygen present your body will be more efficient in producing energy. So, the threshold at which your body starts to lack the necessary oxygen uptake to the muscles would be your anaerobic threshold, also known as lactate threshold. Nevertheless, the trend is that a higher VO2max means that you will produce more energy, thereby performing more work with a longer duration.
If you don't metabolically condition your body to train within your anaerobic threshold, your body will take longer to recover, your muscles will cramp up, and you will fatigue much faster. Forget about feeling good the next day. You will feel so sore that you are less likely to workout the following day. SO, the million dollar question is what can supplements can we take and what foods can we eat to neutralize the lactic acid when we are training and/or prevent the lactic acid from building up?.