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Once those keys are inside the lock, NADH donates its proton to pyruvate.
This transforms NADH into NAD and pyruvate into lactate.
You might not be familiar with NAD but it’s essential for life and present in every cell of your body. Importantly, glycolysis also releases an acidic proton (H ).
The importance of this will make sense shortly, so hang with me.
Importantly, pyruvate consumes an acidic proton (H ) from the muscle during this reaction.