Short answer is yes, you can. However, you burn calories everyday even if you don’t exercise at all. This is because if you don’t, you will basically die. But let’s not get too tragic here!
Summer has arrived and you want to train hard. You want to build muscles, lose weight and be healthy. You want it all. Luckily, if you treat your body well it will treat you better, and that’s what our topic is about in this article. The Afterburn effect is not a new discovery, but its when you burn calories after your workout, while you’re resting or even eating.
Enter Afterburn. The scientific term for it is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC for short. As thename suggests, it is when our bodies consume more oxygen than usual after an exercise. This happens because when we are exercising, our bodies burn a lot of calories, which enable us to run or lift weights. And unless your job includes spending around 10 hours of hard labor, your workouts are the most physically challenging part of your routine, where your body burns most calories.
As a result, you need to eat well in order to fuel yourself for your next workout and day-to-day activities. And that’s somewhat voluntary. What your body involuntarily does, and for the good, is to take on more oxygen in order to prepare ‘food’ for the muscles, which itself takes time and energy to do.
You may ask how does that happen? Your body uses the oxygen you breathe in a chemical reaction, where its result is a chemical molecule called ATP (Adenosine tri-phosphate). This molecule (ATP) is like ready-to-eat food for our muscles. They ‘eat’ it when they want to work. And that’s one of the main reasons why you often feel tired after a strenuous exercise. Its because the muscles need to ‘eat’!
While oxygen is one of the main components in order to create ATP, our body can create ATP using other molecules like sulfate. This is called anaerobic respiration and through it, our body will only produce 2 ATP molecules in every ‘cook’ or cycle. With oxygen it can produce around 30 ATP molecules!
Now we know that our bodies can make ATP for the muscles to ‘eat’ without oxygen, but that only goes for a limited and short time, because 2 ATP per ‘cook’ is not enough for all of our cells and organs to live.
So where do we go from here? Research has shown that when doing intense exercises and resting between each exercise can help increase the Afterburn effect. In these workouts, which last about 45 minutes, our muscles usually get ATP from anaerobic respiration first, and then from aerobic respiration.
But if we do workouts in such a way that we rest longer between exercises or sets, we don’t allow our bodies enough time to fully depend on aerobic respiration in creating ATP. As a result, when we finish our workouts, there is a need for more ATP molecules to be created and this is best done through aerobic respiration.
That’s exactly where Afterburn effect takes place. The body burns more calories by breathing more, in order to prepare ATP for the muscles, to repair damages to muscle tissues and get the body back to the optimal state.
Before we draw to a close on this topic, it is worth mentioning that intense exercises are ones that tend to involve 70-75% of VO2 Max, meaning that the body should consume 75% of the maximum amount (or volume, hence the V) of oxygen it can consume during a workout, in order to experience a better Afterburn effect.在我们结束这个话题之前，我们应该清楚，高强度训练是那种涉及70%-75%最大摄氧量的运动，这意味着，为了能得到最好的后燃效应体验，在训练中，人体应该消耗训练中所消耗的最大摄氧量的75%。
In addition, the amount of calories burned after a workout is disputed among researchers. Some attribute very little amount to Afterburn effect, as little as 69 calories after 30 minutes of running at 70% VO2 Max.
To finish off, its always best to see what it works for you personally. Try to maintain a balanced but challenging workout routine and you’ll eventually burn calories without breaking a sweat, because who wants sweat more in this time of the year?