…remember, burning calories needn’t be! Pretty much all health and fitness activity, from yoga and running to even sleeping requires energy. And we think that the more vigorous the exercise, the more calories we’ll burn. But this isn’t strictly true…sometimes it can happen after the exercise has stopped.
Welcome to The Afterburn Effect
Several studies suggest there's a strong connection between the number of calories burned post-exercise and the activity’s intensity - the more intense the exercise, the more oxygen your body consumes afterwards. In one study, participants who cycled vigorously for 45 minutes burned about 190 calories more in the 14 hours after exercise than on days when they didn't work out at all. And while one study showed that your afterburn will increase significantly with duration, you also don’t necessarily have to work out for a long time to simulate the effect.
That's where short, high-intensity workouts come into their own and healthy nutrition is so important. Where 20 seconds of all-out effort is followed by 10 seconds of rest, are one way to trigger the afterburn. The key with any programme is that you need to be working hard – 70 to 85% of an individual's max heart rate to be precise.
If you're new to this type of intense training, it’s good to try a work-to-rest ratio of 1:2 – that’s 60 seconds of work, followed by 2 minutes of rest.
If you ever have a 'cheat meal,' a post-tough workout would be the time to have it. “After intense exercise, like sprinting, skeletal muscle is low on glycogen," says Jason Edmonds, a biologist and ‘Greatist’ expert. "Glycogen is what muscles use as fuel during exertion. Consequently, a sugary or starchy treat is more likely to be used to restore that glycogen deposit, instead of being stored as fat."
But there’s a catch. The more fit you are, the more efficient your body becomes at getting you back to a resting metabolism, according to one study. In other words, highly trained athletes might not reap the same afterburn that overweight individuals do.
Vigorous exercise keeps the body burning calories for hours after the workout is through and with it, you may find you lose weight faster and build muscle quicker. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t attempt this style of training more than about two to three times per week and on non-consecutive days.
Swisse Me & The Afterburn Effect
Quick energy snacks and low sodium snacks like our Boost Me energy blends; Beetroot, Spinach, Coffee, Ginger, Mango, Berry and Pear are designed to help sustain these boosts of energy as and when you need them. We also recommend Replenish Me post-workout blend Spirulina. Healthy food options that help to recover you after these moments of high intensity.