Biochemical and physiological bases for lactate production

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1986 Jun;18(3):341-3. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198606000-00016.


I have proposed an explanation of lactic acid production and output by red and white skeletal muscle during repetitive contractions. The proposal does not require O2 lack to slow oxidative phosphorylation. In this proposal lactic acid production is due to the fact that activation of glycolysis is more rapid than activation of oxidative phosphorylation. This results in a transient elevation of NADH in the cytoplasm and net lactic acid production. Once oxidative phosphorylation is fully activated and the activation of glycolysis wanes, balance is again achieved. Lactic acid production decreases and may become net utilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Glycolysis
  • Lactates / biosynthesis*
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Oxygen / metabolism


  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Oxygen