This review aims to integrate the present state of knowledge on lactate metabolism in human and mammalian physiology as far as it could be subject to nutritional interventions. An integrated view on the nutritional, metabolic and physiological aspects of lactic acid and lactates might open a perspective for innovative nutritional applications of lactates in health and wellness. Lactic acid was classically considered to be a dead end waste product of anaerobic glycolysis during severe exercise. Mammals, however, do not excrete lactate indicating that lactate cannot be considered as a dead metabolic end product. Despite a rapid and massive production of lactate, lactate is finally oxidized to the normal metabolic end products CO2 and H2O. Besides direct metabolic effects, nutritional applications of lactic acid and lactates are also considered in relation to dietary mineral supply. To the background that lactic acid is in fact a semi manufactured metabolic product, various nutritional applications are proposed in relation to metabolic training of athletes, modulation of metabolic rate, appetite control and excretion of faecal fat for weight management, lowering the glycemic index of bread and improved mineral supplementation in nutritional formulas for infants and people using proton inhibitors.