4 Ways Your Poop Changes When You're Losing Weight- VyWhy

Last updated on 2021-12-24 19:01:11


You might poop more when you're losing weight, but you could also experience the opposite. Here, a GI doc explains four common bowel changes during weight loss.

Close up of feet in slippers on bathroom scale

Here's why you might poop more when you're losing weight — and why the opposite might happen.

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What you put in your mouth majorly affects what comes out the other end. So, it should be no surprise that shifting your diet for weight loss can modify your pooping habits.

Here, Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York-based internist and gastroenterologist, discusses four big bowel changes you might see during your weight-loss journey.

What Does a Healthy Bowel Movement Look Like?  

1. Your Bowel Movements Are More Frequent

Visiting the porcelain throne more often? That's likely due to healthy dietary changes on your weight-loss plan. If you're noshing on more fruits and veggies, your poops will probably be more plentiful.

"Eating more plant-based foods will increase the amount of soluble fiber in the stool," which will become fluffy, softer and easier to pass, Dr. Sonpal says. That's because fiber "causes more distention of the rectum, making you go to the bathroom more frequently," he explains.

More regular poops may also occur if you're working out more.

"Exercise makes everything in your abdomen compress," Dr. Sonpal says. In other words, "your abdominal muscles are literally promoting you to poop."

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Is trying to poop as strenuous as your daily cardio session?

If you're trying to build muscle or stay satiated at meals, you might be introducing more lean proteins into your daily menu. But eating too much of this mighty macro may bind your bum.

Dense proteins — which take longer to digest — can lead to less frequent bathroom trips and constipation, Dr. Sonpal says. The result: Your stools may become hard, chunky and feel uncomfortable on the way out.

Cutting carbs from your diet — often a go-to weight-loss strategy — can cause constipation too. That's because when you slash too many carbs, you also eliminate a lot of essential fiber sources, such as whole grains, fruits and legumes, which keep your poop schedule on track and running smoothly.

To combat these constipating effects, be sure to balance your diet by drinking plenty of water and filling your plate with fibrous foods, Dr. Sonpal says.

If you're following a carb-restricted diet like keto, you can still reach your daily fiber quota by sticking to non-starchy vegetables (like leafy greens, carrots and squash) and low-carb fruits like avocado and raspberries.

Women (up to age 50) should get about 25 grams of fiber per day while men should shoot for 38 grams, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Alternatively, low-carb eating plans can also produce runny poops. Take the keto diet for example. Since sugar is a major no-no on this diet program, many keto devotees may consume foods containing low-carb artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. These sugary alternatives, which are difficult to digest, can have a laxative effect leading to liquidy poops, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

What's more, keto requires you to eat a lot of fat. But consuming too many fatty foods can disrupt digestion and result in the runs as well. This can be a double digestive whammy if you're chomping on more cheese and you have a lactose intolerance (about 65 percent of us do, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine).

4. Your Poop Color May Change

Does the shade of your stool seem different lately? That's because your poop's pigment is impacted by what 's on your plate, according to the Cleveland Clinic. So, if you're eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies, expect your feces to reflect that.

For example, dark, leafy greens can generate bright green poop while beets and cherries may turn your stool reddish. Meanwhile, blueberries can taint your toilet waste a deep blue (or even black) and carrots can cause orange-hued poop.

But if the color changes persist, or you can't connect them to anything you ate, it might be cause for concern, per the Cleveland Clinic. Red or black poop may indicate blood in the stool, while gray stool could signal an issue in the pancreas or bile ducts.

In these cases, contact a medical professional who can help you identify any serious problems.

Calories in Croissants

Croissant Calories and Nutrition One large butter croissant contains 240 calories, notes Washington University in St. Louis. This tasty pastry has 33 grams of carbohydrates, making up 11 percent of a 2,000-calorie daily diet. It also contains 12 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of unhealthy trans fat and 5 grams of sugar.

Croissants with coffee on a dark surface, top view, copy space.

Because croissants have substantial amounts of fat, saturated fat, sodium and carbohydrates, consider placing them in your diet’s “special treat” category.

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If you've ever savored a delicate croissant pastry, you probably weren't thinking about croissant calories or croissant nutrition. Because croissants have substantial amounts of fat, saturated fat, sodium and carbohydrates, consider placing them in your diet's "special treat" category.

Croissant Calories and Nutrition

One large butter croissant contains 240 calories, notes Washington University in St. Louis. This tasty pastry has 33 grams of carbohydrates, making up 11 percent of a 2,000-calorie daily diet. It also contains 12 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of unhealthy trans fat and 5 grams of sugar.

On the positive side, a butter croissant does offer 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber. However, these small croissant nutrition benefits don't begin to offset the negatives of the fat, sugar and carbs in croissants.

Eating Croissants for Breakfast

Harvard Health Publishing explains that your metabolism keeps your body's energy supply at a constant level, whether you've recently eaten a meal or not. When you consume breakfast after a 10- to 12-hour interval without food, your first daily meal helps your body to switch from fasting mode to energy storage mode — so you should make that meal count.

Ideally, you should eat a breakfast that includes low-to-moderate amounts of protein and fat. Omega-3 fats sourced from fish and nuts, and substantial amounts of fiber, are recommended.

You should also consume very little simple sugar and other quickly absorbed carbohydrates. Instead, eat more complex carbohydrates with slow absorption rates. High-fiber, low-sugar cereals, or whole wheat or pumpernickel breads with a low glycemic index, are good choices.

Unfortunately, the high fat content and other negatives of traditionally made croissants knock them off the list of suitable breakfast foods. However, depending on your daily calorie guidelines, a croissant might qualify as an occasional treat.

Guidelines for Healthier Croissants

The Ohio State University Extension offers a solution to a healthier croissant you can make at home. You can substitute prune puree or applesauce for half of the butter, and modify the baking time accordingly. Instead of whole milk, use healthier skim milk, 1 percent milk or unflavored soy milk with calcium. Replace up to half of the all-purpose flour with healthier whole wheat flour.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that you modify your diet so whole grains comprise half (or more) of the grains you eat. These beneficial high-fiber grains help you feel fuller, making it easier to manage your weight.

Whole-grain consumption has also been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other health conditions. Nutritious whole grains include brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, popcorn and whole wheat pasta.

Certain whole grains are also high in soluble fiber, which helps to reduce total cholesterol levels, states the Cleveland Clinic. Soluble fiber sources include oat bran and oats, barley, ground flaxseed, bananas, citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes and squash, among others.

Insoluble fiber is also important to your digestive system health. Also called roughage, it helps to promote regular bowel movements, and plays a role in keeping your weight at a healthy level. Insoluble fiber can even help to prevent certain gastrointestinal problems. Insoluble fiber sources include vegetables, nuts and whole wheat crackers, cereal and pasta.

Healthy Substitutes for Coffee Creamers

According to the USDA, each tablespoon (15 grams) of whole milk has just 9 calories, half a gram of fat, half a gram of protein and 0.7 grams of carbohydrates. You can also try buttermilk, a fermented milk product , that has a similar macronutrient content to milk but has the benefit of containing healthy probiotic bacteria.

Woman in cafe pouring coffee creamer in iced coffee

Coffee creamers are known for being fatty and sweet. Many of these products are made from milk but contain added sugar and flavorings, while others are more processed and have no milk at all. Fortunately, some healthy coffee creamer alternatives are available. Coffee creamer substitutes may be made from lactose-free products, plant-based products and even low-carb foods.

What Is Coffee Creamer?

Coffee creamers are processed products meant to resemble a blend of milk and cream. Some are made with milk or are milk and cream blended together, while others are nondairy creamers. Many coffee creamers are intermediaries: They have some component of milk, like casein, but no actual milk-based products in them otherwise.

Take Coffee Mate, for instance. This popular coffee creamer is primarily made of water, but also contains ingredients like corn syrup solids, vegetable oil, milk-based casein and flavorings. One tablespoon-sized serving (15 milliliters) contains 20 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Both of these carbohydrates come from added sugars.

Given that the nutritional values for coffee creamers are often similar to products like Coffee Mate, most coffee creamers can't be considered particularly healthy. Beyond these macronutrients, coffee creamers often have few vitamins and minerals, even when they're made from milk-based products or other natural ingredients. The vitamins and minerals they do have are often found in very small amounts (between 1 and 4 percent).

Coffee creamers are defined by their macronutrient content, specifically their fat content. This means that any fat-rich food can technically act as a coffee creamer. Milk-based products like whole milk and plant-based products like coconut milk or oat cream can be used as healthy alternatives to coffee creamer. Even eggs may be used as coffee creamer alternatives.

Characteristics of Healthy Coffee Creamers

Healthy coffee creamer alternatives are usually made from natural ingredients, regardless of whether they are vegetarian-friendly or vegan-friendly products. The healthiest products are those that don't contain added sugars, like corn syrup. Many foods have sugars, but according to a December 2014 article in the journal Nutrition Reviews, added sugars are the ones that can seriously impact your diet's quality in a negative way.

An April 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine discussed how larger amounts of added sugars were related to a variety of different health problems, including weight gain and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. An April 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supported these findings, showing how products that contain added sugars, particularly those that come from corn syrup, can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease-related mortality.

Since coffee creamers typically contain substantial fat content, you should also be aware of their quantities of saturated fats and trans fats. Both saturated fats, which tend to come from animal products, and trans fats, which can be found in both processed foods and animal products, are considered bad for your health.

Both of these types of fats should be limited in your diet. Although there is no daily recommended intake for trans fat, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your saturated fat consumption to 5 or 6 percent of your daily calories. For people following a 2,000 calorie diet, this is about 120 calories or 13 grams of saturated fat.

Milk-Based Coffee Creamer Alternatives

If you're after a standard coffee creamer made from milk products, you might want to consider products like milk, cream and half-and-half. Full-fat milk, sometimes also referred to as whole milk or full-cream milk, is one of the fattiest types of milk you can obtain from an animal source. This type of milk is often considered too fatty to drink.

While you may not want to drink several cups of this type of milk each day, using it as a creamer in limited amounts can be a perfectly healthy choice. According to the USDA, each tablespoon (15 grams) of whole milk has just 9 calories, half a gram of fat, half a gram of protein and 0.7 grams of carbohydrates. You can also try buttermilk, a fermented milk product, that has a similar macronutrient content to milk but has the benefit of containing healthy probiotic bacteria.

If you find that whole milk and buttermilk are too light for you compared to coffee creamers, you can also use milk-based cream as an alternative. Cream comes in two main types: light cream, which has a fat content that ranges between 18 and 30 percent, and heavy cream, which has a fat content that is usually around 36 percent or more.

Half-and-half products are also typically made from milk-based ingredients. With the exception of fat-free half-and-half, most half-and-half products are a combination of full-cream milk and some type of cream. Half-and-half products typically have a variable fat content that ranges between 10.5 and 18 percent. Regardless of the product you choose, keep in mind that these are all animal-based milk products, which means that they all contain some amount of saturated fat.

Healthy Nondairy Creamer Products

Most supermarkets carry a variety of plant-based milk alternatives, which can range from almond to soy or hemp. Plant-based creamers are often available from the same producers that make milk alternatives. These products can be some of the healthiest coffee creamer alternatives you can find.

Many plant-based products, like nuts, are rich in fat and make excellent coffee creamer alternatives. Other plant-based products from which you can make a type of milk or cream include grain-based products, like oats, and legume-based products, like soy. Plant-based creamers, like oat milk and cream, often have a fraction of the amount of saturated fat compared to animal-milk based products.

However, you shouldn't automatically think of all plant-based creamers as healthier products. For example, coconut milk and cream can be rich in saturated fat. Although the negative health effects of plant-based saturated fats are disputed, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of foods with saturated fat, regardless of whether they come from plant or animal sources.

Which Is Healthier: Rice or Chapati?

For serving purposes, one whole chapati is considered one serving. One chapati contains: 202 calories; 5.1 g total fat; 278 mg sodium; 31.5 g carbohydrates; ... Chapati has …

Chicken tikka masala with rice. Indian food. Top view, copy space.

Rice and chapati are healthy food staples in many cultures, and they both offer different nutritional benefits.

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Chapati versus rice or bread versus rice are both age-old debates, depending on where you live.

Nonetheless, from a nutritional point of view, find out how chapati (Indian flatbread) fares in comparison with the most popular staple grain in the world, rice.

Homemade Indian Roti Chapati Bread

Chapati's ingredient list is short, but it contains many healthy nutrients.

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Chapati is a flatbread made with unleavened whole-wheat flour. It's a staple bread eaten across the Indian subcontinent. At first glance, it resembles a tortilla because of its round shape but the taste and texture are completely different.

Chapati is made with three ingredients: flour, water and salt. The dough is kneaded, much like how tortilla dough is prepped, and it needs to rest 30 minutes for the gluten to form. Traditionally, some people prefer adding vegetable oil to the dough and/or ghee to the fresh bread.

Chapati is always round in shape but the size can vary. In some parts of India, chapatis are rolled into 6-inch diameter circles and are much thinner — these are called "fulka." And in other parts, they are almost 9 inches in diameter — these are called "roti" or just "chapati."

Chapatis are cooked by dry-roasting them in a flat skillet. They're enjoyed with a variety of curries or sabzis.

For serving purposes, one whole chapati is considered one serving. One chapati contains:

  • 202 calories
  • 5.1 g total fat
  • 278 mg sodium
  • 31.5 g carbohydrates
  • 3.3 g dietary fiber
  • No added sugar
  • 7.7 g protein

For people with diabetes or for people who are counting carbohydrates, please note that just like a 9-inch tortilla, 1 whole chapati is considered two carbohydrate servings. Just like a 6-inch tortilla, a fulka is considered one carbohydrate serving.

Jasmine rice in a bowl on wood table

White rice is a staple in many cuisines and it's used in many different food products.

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Rice is seen in many forms, be it simple steamed rice, pilaf, sushi, bibimbap, paella, a classic wok fried rice and more.

Then there are delicacies made with rice flour or fermented rice such as idli, dosa, rice noodles, rice cakes and rice wine. The point is, rice is omnipresent. Still, if you try and skim through any health cookbook, you will find it drastically underrepresented.

One widespread belief is that rice is high in carbohydrates. Is it though? Let us take a closer look.

One cup of cooked white rice offers:

  • 205 calories
  • 0.4 g total fat
  • 1.6 mg sodium
  • 44.5 g total carbohydrates
  • 0.6 g dietary fiber
  • No added sugar
  • 4.3 g protein

For carbohydrate-counting purposes, 1/3 cup of cooked rice is considered one carbohydrate portion.

At this point, it may seem like rice has less protein, less fiber and more carbs per serving than the chapati — and this belief is the reason why many health-conscious people avoid eating rice. This is the part that needs deeper analysis.

What we call white rice is not a whole grain. The husk (outer, inedible shell) is removed by milling and the edible outer layer (bran) and the germ (reproductive part, packed with nutrients) are removed during the polishing.

Bran contains most of the fiber and protein, and germ contains phytonutrients, both of which we selectively remove during the refining of the rice. What is left of rice after repeated polishing is only the endosperm, which is the part where seeds store all their energy.

So is it any surprise that white rice has less fiber, less protein and more carbs compared to not just chapati but other whole grains?

Brown rice, on the other hand, has the bran and the germ intact. Brown rice is a whole grain and contains more good-for-you nutrients than white rice.

White rice and brown rice aren't the only options available either! Here's how some of the most popular and widely used rice types compare nutritionally.

Nutritional Comparison of Different Types of Rice

Image Credit: Soniya Nikam, Data Compiled from USDA FoodData Central

So Which Is Healthier: Rice or Chapati?

As we now know, white rice is a refined product that's devoid of almost all of its protein, fiber and micronutrients.

Chapati is made with the whole-wheat flour so it has more protein, fiber and micronutrients per serving.

Brown rice, being the whole form of rice, is nutritionally superior to its refined counterpart but still has less protein per serving than chapati.

When it comes to what's most nutritious, chapati and brown rice trump white rice.

Chapati may have slightly more fats because of the oil and/or ghee commonly used during cooking. It has more protein, too. All the extra protein and fats also means more calories.

Chapati has slightly more calories than both the white and brown rice. So if you are only concerned about the calories, then white rice has the lowest calories of the three, followed by brown rice and chapati.

On the flip side, all the more protein and fats make chapati a complex food, which means its digestion will take slightly more time and it will increase blood sugar relatively slowly.

That's why chapati has a lower glycemic index, per Harvard Health Publishing, which makes it a better choice for people with diabetes. Remember, the lesser the glycemic index the better the food is for your blood sugar control.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, at least half of your daily grain intake should be whole grains. Since chapati is made with whole-wheat flour, it will count towards your daily whole grain intake and so will brown rice. White or refined rice is a refined grain and its consumption should be limited.

Both chapati and rice both can be a part of a healthy diet.

When making chapati, make sure to use the whole-wheat flour and avoid straining away the fiber bits. If you're buying the ready-to-eat ones, check the label or ingredient list first to make sure they are indeed made with the whole-wheat flour.

As always, eating everything in moderation is key. Consider consulting a registered dietitian for your personalized nutrition plan.

What Are the Benefits of Vitamin Surbex Z?

Vitamin B6 helps with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin B12 is vital for converting food to energy. People need about 2 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 6 …

Red zinc Pills

Surbex Z offers more than double the daily recommended daily amount of zinc for most people, as well as several other vital vitamins and minerals.

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When you're feeling sluggish, a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals could be what your body needs. Touting itself as a supplement that "recoups vitality," the vitamin Surbex Z might catch your eye. So what does it have to offer?

Surbex Z offers more than double the daily recommended daily amount of zinc for most people, as well as several other vital vitamins and minerals.

Most people might think of the vitamin Surbex Z as a zinc supplement. And it is — it has about 22.5 milligrams of zinc. But it also has B vitamins, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin E. Take a look at what these vitamins and minerals can do for your overall health.

There are many health claims out there about zinc. Some of them are supported by science; others, not so much. But zinc is a necessary mineral that your body needs for many functions. Because the body can't store zinc, you need to have a regular intake of it from either the foods you eat or supplements you take.

Zinc plays a role in the function of the immune system, helping the body fight off bacteria, viruses and colds. It is involved in metabolic functions and in forming proteins and DNA, and it even helps you smell and taste properly.

People who have trouble with their sleep cycle should take note that a review published in November 2017 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences linked zinc with proper sleep regulation, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood and must be researched further.

According to the Mayo Clinic, zinc deficiency isn't very common in the United States. Adult men need about 11 milligrams, and adult women need about 8 milligrams, unless they are pregnant or nursing. The National Institutes of Health recommends pregnant women get 11 milligrams, and breastfeeding women get 12 milligrams. Zinc should not be consumed in quantities larger than 40 milligrams a day.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that some consumers will take zinc supplements as a way of boosting their immune system and treating the common cold, ear infections, the flu and so forth, or they might take it to stave off macular degeneration. There are some who will even take zinc supplements for fertility problems, osteoporosis and cancer prevention, or athletes might use zinc to improve their performance.

What About Surbex and Zinc?

The vitamin Surbex Z has 22.5 milligrams of zinc. It is important to note that Surbex zinc is in the form of zinc sulfate, one of many forms used in supplements (other examples are zinc gluconate and zinc acetate). According to the National Institutes of Health, there's no indication that any one form of zinc is better than the others.

However, there are a few important points that consumers should keep in mind about zinc in the form of zinc sulfate. The U.S. National Library of Medicine breaks down the evidence for zinc's effectiveness in treating certain conditions, noting that zinc sulfate could possibly be effective when taken orally to treat lesions or leg sores from poor circulation.

Additionally, taking zinc sulfate orally can treat warts, but it will not improve lung function in people with cystic fibrosis. It's also important to note that taking zinc sulfate with black coffee instead of water can reduce the absorption by half, although the researchers couldn't determine why.

However, a study, published in the May-June 2013 issue of the Indian Journal of Dermatology, specifically mentions that tannins in coffee and tea can inhibit the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc.

What Is in Surbex Z?

You might decide to take Surbex zinc, but it has other nutrients as well. In addition to zinc, consumers will get 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 100 milligrams of nicotinamide, 30 international units of vitamin E, 20 milligrams of calcium pantothenate, 15 milligrams of vitamin B1, 20 milligrams of vitamin B6, 12 micrograms of vitamin B12 and 150 micrograms of folic acid.

Such vitamins and minerals are vital for important bodily processes. The Food and Drug Administration lists that vitamin C is an antioxidant important in forming collagen and connective tissue, and it plays an important role in wound healing. Most people need about 60 milligrams of vitamin C. (Surbex zinc provides 500 milligrams).

B vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are important for nervous system function and red blood cell formation. Vitamin B6 helps with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin B12 is vital for converting food to energy. People need about 2 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 6 micrograms of vitamin B12. (Surbex Z has 20 milligrams and 12 micrograms respectively.)

Then there's vitamin E, another antioxidant important for immune function. Vitamin E is also necessary for the formation of blood vessels. The average person needs 30 international units of vitamin E, which Surbex Z provides.

Calcium, described as a "nutrient of concern for most Americans" by the FDA, helps with blood clotting, formation of bones and teeth and several other important functions. Most people need about 1,000 milligrams. Surbex Z provides 20 milligrams of calcium pantothenate, but taking too much calcium at the same time as zinc can affect the absorption of the zinc.

The Mayo Clinic points out that any oral zinc product could have side effects including indigestion, diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting. Zinc supplements could also interact with medicine like antibiotics, penicillamine and thiazide diuretics. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends zinc supplements like the vitamin Surbex Z to restore zinc levels when you're deficient, but it shouldn't be used on a long-term basis.

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who take zinc for a long time often end up with a copper deficiency because zinc interferes with the way copper is absorbed. Long-term zinc supplementers can also end up with low immunity and low levels of HDL cholesterol.

If you get enough zinc and other nutrients from your diet, you can improve your overall health without the aid of a supplement. Great dietary sources of zinc include red meat, poultry and fish.

As for plant-based sources of zinc, the Food and Drug Administration recommends beans and peas, fortified cereals, nuts and whole grains. If you go the supplement route, be sure to consult your doctor or health care provider, who can advise you as to what product is right for you and how much you should take.

4 Good Foods to Help Beat Lactic Acid Buildup in Your Legs

Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into the diet can help with muscle performance, including the speedy recovery from lactic acid buildup. Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame; nuts, …

Woman running upstairs

Dietary changes can help reduce lactic acid in the muscles.

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While the idea of burning pain radiating though your leg muscles might seem alarming, for many athletes it's all too familiar. Lactic acid, a byproduct of hardworking muscles, is responsible for the painful sensation.

Improving athletic performance requires pushing through this pain, but research points to a few nutrients that may help give athletes an edge. Bicarbonate, found in baking soda; potassium-rich foods; New Zealand black currant; and high-magnesium foods are all powerful for conquering lactic acid and helping leg muscles recover.

Lactic Acid in Muscles

During intense exercise, you breathe faster as your body attempts to transport more oxygen to the muscles. Normally, energy is generated using oxygen, called aerobic energy. However, when your lungs can't keep up with energy demands, such as during sprinting or heavy weightlifting, your body uses anaerobic energy.

In one process, called anaerobic glycolysis, glucose is broken down into an acidic substance called lactate, a shortcut allowing energy production to continue even when oxygen is limited.

The problem is that high levels of lactic acid in muscles cause the burning sensation. This accumulation of lactate stops when you slow down and oxygen is available again, but your athletic performance typically declines at the onset of painful lactic acid buildup.

Increase Dietary Bicarbonate

Bicarbonate is alkaline, and your body produces it to help maintain proper pH. This can help prevent lactic acid buildup in the legs. A 2014 study published in Sports Medicine found that extra bicarbonate in the muscle cells facilitated faster lactic acid removal and improved athletes' performances during high-intensity exercise.

Supplementing with bicarbonate is as easy as stirring baking soda into water. However, some people experience gastrointestinal upset with ingestion of bicarbonate. Before using baking soda, discuss the best dosage with your medical professional to prevent adverse reactions such as diarrhea, gas and bloating. Foods that provide bicarbonate include potassium-rich foods like bananas, leafy greens, tomatoes and potatoes.

The New Zealand Sujon black currant is a dark-purple berry said to have the world's highest concentration of antioxidants and flavonoids. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition tested Sujon black currant powder in elite triathletes and found that it helped reduce lactic acid buildup in their legs and quickened the removal of the burning byproduct.

Sujon black currant supplementation was also shown to improve cardiovascular function by increasing stroke volume, which is the amount of blood your heart can move with each pump. Blood washes out lactic acid, making the Sujon black currant a double whammy for muscle recovery.

Sujon black currant supplement, usually in the form of a powder, is available at specialty stores or online. Check with your physician before using it.

Select Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, and getting enough of this mineral is essential for optimal sports and exercise performance. The body uses magnesium to build proteins, for healthy nerve function, and for muscle contraction, such as the beating of your heart and voluntary movements of your large skeletal muscles.

Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into the diet can help with muscle performance, including the speedy recovery from lactic acid buildup. Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame; nuts, including almonds, cashews, peanuts and pine nuts; grains such as amaranth, teff and sorghum; and turkey, mollusks and salmon are at the top of the list for magnesium content.

Ensure Adequate Hydration

Being hydrated during exercise enhances performance and decreases the risks of overheating and injury. To make sure you're adequately hydrated, dietitians at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest monitoring the color of your urine.

A lemonade color indicates healthy hydration, while an apple juice color suggests dehydration. Water, sports drinks and other electrolyte-replacing fluids, such as coconut water, are appropriate for rehydration.

How to Remove Extreme Lactic Acid in Legs

How to Remove Extreme Lactic Acid in Legs Lactic Acid in Muscles. Lactic acid will build up in your legs as you intensely exercise, according to a January 2017...

Young woman running on city street

Focus on active recovery to help remove lactic acid.

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If you do an intense leg workout at home, you will have lactic acid build-up in your legs. Fortunately, there are several ways to remove this lactic acid from your lower body. Learning these methods will help you quickly recover from an intense bout of exercise.

Lactic Acid in Muscles

Lactic acid will build up in your legs as you intensely exercise, according to a January 2017 report in the Journal of Advanced Review on Scientific Research. This build-up decreases your pH level and the amount of enzymes you need to produce energy.

You will eventually deplete these enzymes, weaken the calcium binding of your muscles and experience feelings of fatigue. This fatigue causes pain that makes you want to stop exercising. Even if you can tolerate that pain, your legs will eventually stop generating the force you need to move forward.

Increasing your fitness gives you the best way to prevent fatigue. The authors of an August 2017 paper in Redox Biology showed how trained athletes can better tolerate the build-up of lactic acid. They measured lactic acid in millimoles per liter, mmol/L. This metric system measurement indicates the concentration level of a substance.

Sedentary people and trained athletes have the same resting level of lactic acid — 1.5 mmol/L. If both groups start running on a treadmill, the pain will cause sedentary people to stop at a level of 10 mmol/L. In contrast, trained athletes will continue until they hit 20 mmol/L. Lactic acid will naturally return to its baseline level — 1.5 mmol/L — within an hour.

Intense exercise will trigger the build-up of lactic acid even in unusually fit athletes. Fortunately, several treatments exist to remove that lactic acid. The writers of a July 2017 article in Technology and Health Care tried a new approach — whole-body vibration — in 24 healthy adults.

In this study, all participants walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes. After the walk, half of them sat on a vibrating chair, and the other half sat on a non-vibrating chair. People in the whole-body vibration group had less lactic acid and showed better recovery.

Doing an active recovery can also help you remove the lactic acid from your legs. The authors of a March 2015 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared active and passive recovery in 14 downhill skiers. The athletes used these methods at the top of the hill before doing their next run. Compared to passive recovery, active recovery caused a greater decrease in lactic acid. Skiers doing an active recovery moved faster and completed more runs.

The small sample size tested in these two studies might prevent firm conclusions. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that changing your behavior during, or soon after, a workout can prevent the build-up of lactic acid.

There are also some lactic acid supplements you can try. The writers of an August 2019 paper in the Bali Medical Journal looked at the effect of drinking banana juice on lactic acid. After all, bananas offer you many health benefits. The researchers had 10 teenage students consume the banana drink after playing volleyball. Lactic acid decreased 2.86 mmol/L in the control group and 4.43 mmol/L in the treatment group.

Carnitine gives you another option. The authors of a February 2014 report in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested the effect of this amino acid derivative in 26 soccer players. The athletes took 3 or 4 grams of L-carnitine during a single testing session. Compared to a placebo, this treatment delayed the inevitable increase in lactic acid caused by an intense run. The researchers found no difference between the 3- and 4-gram doses.

The authors of these two small-scale studies tested only a few participants, but the results suggest that pre-loading certain nutrients can help you lower your lactic acid levels. This decrease should prevent the pain typically experienced when your lactic acid rises. Nonetheless, scientists will have to confirm these findings in large-scale experiments.

How a 12 Year Old Boy Can Lose Weight Fast

Obesity is increasing among adolescents, but a 12-year-old boy should be supervised by a doctor when losing weight. Learn more about safe weight loss for teens.

Young Tennis Player Preparing to Serve

A young boy is holding a tennis racket.

Image Credit: Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images

If you are a 12-year-old boy who struggles with your weight, you're not alone. The amount of adolescents from 12 to 19 years old with obesity more than tripled since the early 1980s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids start having trouble staying at a healthy weight when they eat too much without getting enough exercise. Get started on your road to a healthier body by making simple changes that you can keep up all the time.

Because kids and teens grow at different speeds and begin growing at different times, you may not be able to tell on your own whether you have overweight. Ask your parents to set up an appointment with your pediatrician and talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. She can use a chart to compare your current weight with weights of other 12-year-old boys at your height and help you determine whether your weight is in a healthy range. If you weigh more than about 84 percent of all boys of the same height, your pediatrician may recommend some healthy changes that will help you gradually lose the excess weight.

Many 12-year-old boys are into indoor activities such as playing video and computer games and watching television with friends. If you tend to spend most of your time on the couch, you're probably not getting enough exercise. Most kids and teens need about 60 minutes of exercise every day, all at once or broken up into smaller sessions. Physical activity helps you build strong bones and muscles, gives you energy to play sports and get through the school day, and helps you burn calories to stay at a healthy weight. If you're not into sports, don't feel forced to try out for school teams. You have many other fun options that don't ever have to feel like exercise. For example, ride your bike or skateboard to school with your friends, pick up rock climbing as a hobby and ask your parents to get you a motion or dance video game for your birthday. Every little bit of activity counts toward those 60 minutes.

Junk foods and sugary drinks such as soda and juice tend to carry lots of calories, which contribute to weight gain. However, just because you're trying to eat healthier foods doesn't mean you need to eat salads when your friends are eating french fries. Small changes in your diet will add up. For example, replacing just one can of regular soda with a glass of water each day could save you over 1,000 calories per week, according to KidsHealth, a part of the Nemours Foundation. Other ways to eat healthier without feeling hungry: drink low-fat milk rather than whole fat milk, fill up on at least one fruit and vegetable each meal, eat nutritious snacks such as whole grain pretzels and frozen grapes at snack break, and take a smaller slice of cake or handful of chips at birthday parties.

Ask Your Parents for Help

Kids and teens who get support from their families are more likely to succeed at losing weight than those who don't, according to KidsHealth. Your parents can help you by choosing healthier snacks for the pantry, cooking more meals at home rather than buying fast food, and encouraging active family hobbies such as hiking and biking.

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