Researchers in Taiwan have found that acupuncture can reduce blood lactic acid and enhance recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise.
Thirty male basketball players were randomly assigned to three groups, acupuncture, sham control, and no treatment. After exercising to exhaustion, the acupuncture group had significantly lower heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid than the other two groups, at thirty minutes after cessation of exercise. Blood lactic acid also remained lower in the acupuncture group, after sixty minutes. The researchers say their findings have shed some light on the development of effective acupuncture schemes to enhance recovery from exercise in elite basketball athletes.
(Effects of Acupuncture Stimulation on Recovery Ability of Male Elite Basketball Athletes. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol 37, no 3, 2009.)