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Muscle Injury

Genes are crucial for muscle contraction

Physical activity is fuelled by the energy stored in your muscles through a process called glycolysis, which converts sugar into energy. Glycolysis occurs in muscles cells without the use of oxygen to produce energy quickly. During this process the body temporarily converts pyruvate into a substance called lactate, which allows glucose breakdown—and thus energy production to continue. However, producing lactic acid causes your muscles to fatigue. The gene SLC16A1 encodes a protein, MCT1, that is crucial for the movement of lactate, a by-product of muscle contraction. Certain variations of this gene are linked to an increased rate of muscular injury.

So, if you are genetically at a high risk of “pulling a muscle” it means that your body is not efficient at removing lactic acid from your muscles. When this happens, you’ll feel a burning sensation that eventually will make you stop overworking your body. This is a natural defense mechanism of the body because it will slow it down, and oxygen will become available again. Then lactate will start reverting to pyruvate, allowing continued aerobic metabolism and energy for the body’s recovery.