Many athletes, particularly runners, will experience lactic acid buildup in their muscles following a strenuous workout or run. This happens more frequently if you take time off from your normal workout or running routine, then jump back into it again. Although the best defense to break down lactic acid is to workout and run more, certain foods will also help.
The most important thing to remember when choosing foods to fight off lactic acid buildup is to select alkaline, non-acidic, foods. Many fruits are alkaline and can aid in reducing lactic acid buildup. Avocados not only help to reduce lactic acid, but are also full of "good fat" (high-density lipoprotein). Tomatoes, limes, grapefruits and rhubarb are also alkaline fruits that can help break down lactic acid. For a refreshing drink after a workout, squeeze a fresh lemon into your water. The alkaline lemon will help breakdown lactic acid while adding a little refreshing taste to your water.
Almost all vegetables are alkaline and healthy to eat after a long, hard workout or run. Eating your green veggies, such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, kale, celery and green beans will help to fight off lactic acid buildup. Artichokes, onions, cauliflower, radish, courgette, leeks, turnips, carrots, garlic and chives are also alkaline. After a tough workout, prepare a big salad using different kinds of vegetables. For dressing, add a little flax or olive oil--both are alkaline, as well.
Nuts and seeds, like avocados, contain "good fat" that can help make your hair shinier, lower your blood pressure and make your skin healthier. Certain nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds, help to reduce lactic acid buildup after a long workout or run. Almonds are a great alkaline snack that helps, as well.