Posted on November 29 2019
One of the best analogies to describe EPOC is the effect on the engine after a long car ride. Just like after you shut your car engine off, it requires time to cool down, your body reacts the same way after a workout. Yes, you burn calories while working out but what about after the workout? You still keep burning calories. Let’s look at what EPOC really is.
What is EPOC?
EPOC is the tendency of your body to continue burning fat after a workout or exercise until your body temperature neutralises and your body is back at rest. It is often known as the “afterburn effect” and can be an efficient mechanism for chiselling fat from your frame, even after you leave the gym.
How does EPOC occur?
After an intense workout, your body is trying to dial your respiration and heart rate back to normal, clear waste from your muscles and refill them with fuel, re-oxygenate your blood, and repair damaged muscle and connective tissue. So all in all, your body is using additional calories to help restore itself after an intense workout.
Facts about EPOC
During the immediate post-exercise recovery period, your body uses the extra oxygen for the following functions:
- For the production of ATP to replace the ATP lost during a workout. ATP (adenosine triphosphate), is a coenzyme that is used by our body to store energy.
- To Resynthesis of muscle glycogen from lactate
- To Restore oxygen levels in venous blood, skeletal muscle blood and myoglobin
- Work with protein for the repair of muscle tissue damaged tissue during the workout
- To Restore body temperature to resting levels
EPOC is influenced by the intensity, not the duration of exercise.
During EPOC, the body uses oxygen to restore muscle glycogen and rebuild muscle proteins damaged during exercise. So the higher the intensity of your workout, higher will be the need for oxygen.
Resistance training can provide a greater EPOC effect than running at a steady speed.
Exercise that consumes more oxygen burns more calories.
The body expends approximately 5 calories of energy to consume 1 litre of oxygen. So if increasing the intake of oxygen during or after the workout can increase the number of calories that you lose.
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