What is the difference between lactic acid and ethanol? What are muscle cramps?

AcademicBiologyNCERTClass 10

Lactic acid is the product formed in the muscles, in the absence of oxygen.

During strenuous exercises like running, the body needs instant energy. This is fulfilled through anaerobic respiration. Muscle cells break down glucose to produce lactic acid and energy is produced.

Glucose  Without the presence of OxygenLactic Acid + Energy

When we get cramps, the glucose is broken down partially into lactic acid and carbon dioxide to meet the demand for energy.

In this respiration, glucose is converted into lactic acid with the release of a small amount of energy in the form of ATP.

The accumulation of lactic acid leads to painful movements or cramps in leg muscles.

Ethanol is the product of anaerobic respiration produced by the organisms like yeast and a few bacteria. This process is known as fermentation.

During fermentation (anaerobic respiration), the pyruvate is converted into ethanol (C2H5OH) and carbon dioxide (CO2) by yeast and releases energy in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

Given below is the schematic flow chart showing the breakdown of glucose. 

Updated on 10-Oct-2022 13:27:08