Do you exercise several kinds of endurance and strength sports? Then you have certainly come across the myth of the afterburn effect. We explain to you what it is and how it works.
After the training, you settle down on the sofa a bit so that your muscles take a well-deserved break and you still continue to burn calories. Lose weight and define yourself without having to do more? Too good to be true, right? And if, thanks to the afterburn effect.
1. What Is The Afterburn Effect?
The afterburn effect relates to the higher calorie expenditure that takes place after training. The scientific term is called “Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption”, in French: excess of post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Admittedly, it looks rather complicated. But this is not the case.
As soon as you start doing sports, your muscles use more energy. In addition to carbohydrates and lipids, they therefore primarily need oxygen to provide energy. This is the reason why your breathing is more intense when you play sports: your heart beats faster and your pulse quickens, in order to deliver enough oxygen to the muscles. To put it simply, all parts of your body have to work more than at rest, and therefore your calorie expenditure increases.
Afterburn Effect: Heart Rate And Calorie Expenditure Are Linked
Depending on the intensity, length, and type of training, your heart rate and calorie burn will increase differently. A short jog doesn’t bring your body to its limits very quickly. As a result, the calorie expenditure is also quite low.
On the other hand, if you do particularly intense cardio training, such as HIIT or Tabata exercises, your pulse will accelerate very quickly and reach its maximum. After this intense effort, your body needs some time to get everything back to normal. This reset is work, and any work means the calories will burn. And this is how the afterburn effect works.
The intensity of the afterburn effect depends on the intensity of the training
Yes, everything will depend on the efforts made during your exercise. For example, after a HIIT training, the afterburn effect will be particularly effective as it is a work-out during which you train in really intense intervals.
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2. How The Afterburn Effect Unfolds
It takes place within 48 hours after training and is divided into three phases, during which your body continues to burn calories.
1st phase: it takes place just after an intense effort and lasts about 1 hour. Your body is now full of stress hormones. It, therefore, takes care of bringing your circulatory system back to normal, namely your breathing, your cardiovascular system, and your metabolism.
2nd phase: your metabolism has finally calmed down and it is now time to repair the muscles. During this process, you consume many more calories in processing protein for your muscles.
3rd phase: the afterburn effect can take place up to 48 hours after exercise. This mainly comes from high muscle tension caused by training. During this phase, the caloric expenditure increases only slightly.
3. What To Eat For This Process?
According to a myth, carbohydrates prevent the afterburn effect.
It’s wrong. Whether or not you eat carbohydrates after the training does not change anything: the afterburn effect will still take place. This myth stems from the fact that the afterburn effect has been confused with fat metabolism.
What is true, however, is that carbohydrates after training have a negative effect on fat metabolism. Protein, on the other hand, is important after training for muscle development, around 20 g. The body cannot assimilate more than one at a time.
Whatever your goal, you need to plan your meal after the training. Do you want to gain mass but rarely feel hungry after exercise? So a shake of our Whey Protein can help you consume a few extra calories while providing your muscles with the protein they need to grow.
If you want to lose weight, it is strongly recommended that you eat less carbohydrates after training to save calories.
A quick and easy way to save calories while consuming the protein you need after training? Our delicious Shape Shake! It delivers 22g of protein per shake for just 107kcal. It is therefore an ideal food supplement and a good alternative to unhealthy snacks.
4. What Does It Really Bring?
The exact number of calories burned during the afterburn effect will depend on many different factors: age, height, weight, gender, and level of training will play an important role. But the main factors to remember that will influence the afterburn effect are the intensity and duration of the training.
To get an idea, the afterburn effect represents about 10% of your calorie balance during training. Basically: if you burn 500 calories during your sport, that’s 50 extra calories that you burn during the afterburning effect. Granted, it may not seem like much, but it is definitely worth it.
An example: if you have three training sessions per week and each time burn 50 calories more, that comes down to 150 calories per week. Then 600 calories per month and 7200 per year. If on the side you eat healthy and reduce your calorie intake, the difference is clear.
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