You have finished your hard training session and you take a well-deserved rest.
But what happens beyond your training session?
Well, even if you’re lying on the couch recovering, your body is still working.
This is what is called COPD or Excess of post-exercise oxygen consumption (Excess Post-exercise oxygen).
And what is this?
During training, your muscles need more energy and they resort to oxygen, increasing the caloric intake that will vary depending on the intensity and duration of your training.
If, on the contrary, you do a particularly intense exercise of strength and cardio, such as HIIT or Tabata, your pulse will accelerate rapidly until it reaches its maximum level. After such intense efforts, your body needs a good time to return to normal. This readjustment also implies an effort because of which calories are burned. This process constitutes the afterburning effect.
This effect is particularly pronounced, for example in the case of HIIT training. It is a type of exercise with very intense training intervals.
Phases of the afterburning effect
The post-combustion effect occurs during the 48 hours that follow the training. It is divided into 3 phases during which your body continues to burn more calories.
- 1st phase: this is the phase that takes place directly after an intense effort and lasts for about an hour. Your body overflows at that moment with stress hormones and is busy returning your circulatory system to normal levels. This includes breathing, the cardiovascular system and metabolism.
- 2nd phase: your metabolism has finally calmed down and your muscles are reconstituting after the effort. During this phase your body consumes more calories to synthesize proteins for your muscles.
- 3rd phase: the post-combustion effect takes place up to 48 hours after the effort. This is mainly due to the increase in muscle tension caused by the training. The caloric intake during this period increases even then only slightly.
The exact amount of calories burned because of the post-combustion effect depends on several factors. Your age, height, weight, gender and the way you train play a determining role. However, the most important factors to decisively influence the post-combustion effect are, however, the duration as well as the intensity of your training.
The approximate approximate value is that the post-combustion effect constitutes around 10% of your caloric intake in training and lasts up to 48 hours after your training. If you burn 1000 calories during training, you will be burning 100 extra calories after it for the afterburning effect.
This does not seem like much at first, but it can make a difference in the long run.