In sports science, the measure of an athlete’s response to exercise helps in the determination of effective training loads. One of the measures is the concentration of metabolites that are produced in response to the intensity, duration and the type of exercise. These metabolites can serve as biomarkers to measure muscle stress and fatigue. The most well-known of these metabolites are lactate and ammonia.1
Under normal conditions, our body utilises glucose through an aerobic (with oxygen) pathway. As exercise intensifies and energy production is faster than our bodies can supply needed oxygen, working muscles generate energy anaerobically (without oxygen). Anaerobic pathways produce lactic acid to efficiently sustain energy demand.2
Lactic acid, which allows glucose breakdown, thus allows energy production to continue. As the body runs out of glucose as muscle fuel, protein is then metabolised as a muscle energy source. The breakdown of protein causes the working muscle cells to form ammonia.3
As our body recovers after exercise, the level of lactate and ammonia gradually declines. Supplementing your body with an energy-rich meal or drink for replenishment is a common habit for many of us during the recovery period. Chicken essence, which is rich in protein, has also been suggested as a supplement to facilitate the recovery process.
One of the published studies showed that intake of chicken essence significantly reduces the accumulation of plasma lactate and ammonia in participants after exercise, compared to the placebo group. Through fingertip blood samples, the lactate and ammonia levels in the blood were measured before and after exercise.
Measurement of plasma lactate and ammonia during the recovery period shows a significant decrease in the group that consume chicken essence compared to the placebo group. Although both lactate and ammonia accumulation will be cleared by the body after exercise, this study showed that chicken essence can increase the rate of lactate and ammonia removal during recovery from exercise.4 As both lactate and ammonia are associated with physical fatigue, this increase in clearance rate through dietary supplementation with chicken essence may serve as an effective measure to quickly recover from intense physical exercise.
- Kantanista A, Kusy K, Zarębska E, Włodarczyk M, Ciekot-Sołtysiak M, Zieliński J. Blood ammonia and lactate responses to incremental exercise in highly-trained male sprinters and triathletes. Biomed Hum Kinet. 2016;8(1):32-38. doi:10.1515/bhk-2016-0005
- Roth S. Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up in Muscles? And Why Does It Cause Soreness?. Scientific American. Published 2018. Accessed December 14, 2018.
- Burning Protein as Fuel. Runner’s World. Published 2018. Accessed December 14, 2018.
- Lo HI, Tsi D, Tan AC, Wang SW, Hsu MC. Effects of postexercise supplementation of chicken essence on the elimination of exercise-induced plasma lactate and ammonia. Chin J Physiol. 2005 Dec 31;48(4):187-92.