Many people today use exercise as a way to better their health and their lives, but the stress from exercising can put a strain on your body. As we exercise the glucose in our bodies break down and in turn produces CO 2 and H+ due to the body's metabolism become more active. At the same time, our muscles use up oxygen. Together these processes can cause a chemical change in our blood, which results in a drop in pH.
This chemical change affects the homeostasis in our body. Homeostasis is the maintenance of the internal environment of the body within acceptable boundaries. Blood needs to maintain a pH of about 7. 4 and a pH lower than that would lead to acidosis, a condition characterized by an accumulation of acid in the body fluids. In order for homeostasis to work, it requires the help from various organs in the body.
These organs affect the components of the buffers in the blood. Buffers resist change in pH upon addition of small amounts of acid or base. A buffer usually consist of either a weak acid and its salt or a weak base. Because exercising creates an excess in H+ we need a buffer to bring it back to equilibrium. The carbonic acid / bicarbonate buffer is important in the balance of pH in the blood. By removing the first proton from carbonic acid, it allows the formation of bicarbonate resulting in a reaction at equilibrium.
This removal reduces the amount of acid in the blood. The carbonic acid / bicarbonate buffer alone is not enough to control the pH in blood. This is where organs come into play. The kidneys removes bicarbonate from the blood decreasing the pH whereas the lungs remove carbon dioxide increasing the pH. When the kidney decreases the concentration of bicarbonate, the equilibrium shifts towards more production of H+ to bring it back to balance..