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: a chemical produced by the body in your muscles during exercise
Full Definition of LACTIC ACID
: a hygroscopic organic acid C3H6O3 present normally especially in muscle tissue as a product of anaerobic glycolysis, produced in carbohydrate matter usually by bacterial fermentation, and used especially in food and medicine and in industry
: a hygroscopic organic acid C3H6O3 that is known in three optically isomeric forms: aorD–lactic acid\ˈdē-\: the dextrorotatory form present normally in blood and muscle tissue as a product of the anaerobic metabolism of glucose and glycogen borL–lactic acid\ˈel-\: the levorotatory form obtained by biological fermentation of sucrose corDL–lactic acid\ˈdē-ˈel-\: the racemic form present in food products and made usually by bacterial fermentation (as of whey or raw sugar) but also synthetically, and used chiefly in foods and beverages, in medicine, in tanning and dyeing, and in making esters for use as solvents and plasticizers
Carboxylic acid found in certain plant juices, in blood and muscle, and in soil. In blood it occurs in the form of its salts (lactates) when glycogen is broken down in muscle; it can be reconverted to glycogen in the liver. Stiffness and soreness after prolonged heavy exercise are due to accumulated lactic acid in the muscles. The end product of bacterial fermentation, lactic acid is the most common acidic constituent of fermented milk products (e.g., sour milk and cream, cheese, buttermilk, yogurt). It is used in other foods as a flavouring or preservative and industrially in tanning leather and dyeing wool and as a raw material or catalyst in many chemical processes.