Exercise Afterburn

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Another crazy exercise science blog post title! I know you love ”˜em!

I’ve been meaning to write another SCIENCE post (aka interesting things I’m learning from NASM), so when I received an exercise question from a reader this morning, I knew it would be the perfect way to introduce Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) (aka “exercise afterburn”) to you guys. The “afterburn” is how many additional calories your body burns after a workout in order to return your body to the state it was in before the exercise took place.

The question I received asked if splitting a workout into more than one session is just as beneficial for burning calories as a single session. According to NASM and their research, splitting your workout into multiple sessions of equal time has a greater effect on EPOC (and ultimately calorie burn) because the body’s metabolism is elevated after each bout of exercise. If you workout twice in one day, for instance, your body needs to return itself to its pre-exercise state two different times, which means more oxygen is consumed (to aid various bodily functions) and more calories are burned than a single session. The EPOC effect increases with the intensity and duration of the exercise.

If your schedule allows for it, splitting up your workout (ex: cardio in the AM; strength in the PM) is just one way to get a little more bang for your buck. (FYI: The afterburn doesn’t burn all that many extra calories, but it’s still better than nothing!) Of course, there’s a lot more to this whole EPOC thing as well as ways to increase it (minimal rest, heavy lifting, etc.), but, in a nutshell, that’s what it’s all about. Neat, right? I love this stuff!

Snack

Around 10:30, my stomach started to grumbled so I made myself a snack of two clementines and some pistachios. Does anyone else love pistachios more than other nuts? I do. A lot.

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Workout

I needed to run a bunch of errands this morning, so I planned a quick trip to the gym during my travels. I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes and covered 3.35 miles using the workout below.

I’m planning to go to CrossFit tonight, so I kept my workout short and sweet (and sweaty. I’m usually disgusting after an interval workout on the treadmill).

Lunch

For lunch, I made a “healthier” egg salad sandwich by adding an extra egg white and nixing the mayo all together. I used Greek yogurt, grainy mustard, and relish to mix up the eggs.

“Healthier” Egg Salad for One

  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp relish

Directions: Hard-boil eggs, remove shells, allow to cool, and mix with yogurt, mustard, and relish. Spread on bread, crackers, or whatever else floats your boat.

On the side, I had a salad, which I made from Dole’s Endless Summer Salad Kit (romaine, Swiss and Gruyere cheeses, roasted sunflower seeds, pepper and herb seasoning, and a “summer vinaigrette,” which is sort of citrus-y).

I first fell in love with this salad at the Dole Healthy Lifestyle Blogger Summit, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. Most grocery stores sell these Dole Salad Kits, but the Endless Summer variety is always sold out. (I guess other people love it too!) I finally saw them at Stop & Shop yesterday and immediately grabbed one. It was as delicious as I remembered!

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After lunch, I ate a piece of chocolate from our Advent calendar.

Snack

My afternoon snack was sunflower butter and banana slices on a whole wheat Sandwich Thin. I love this as a pre-workout snack.

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Recipe Fun

A recipe in a 140 characters? These super short recipe include ingredients and instructions. Cool, right? Follow @tinyrecipes on Twitter! And after more than a year, I finally updated my Recipe page!!

Off to walk the pug and then CrossFit!

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54 Comments

  1. Ut oh, looks like you have a recursion issue in your workout table!25:00 – 28:00 references itself.

    Looks like a good workout otherwise!

  2. What incline did you use for your treadmill workout? I admire you for doing the CrossFit, I’m still too intimidated!

  3. hi there, it should be noted that epoc only represents about 5% of the calories burned in the session (ie. 300 cals burned on treadmill=15cals epoc)

  4. And that is why my degrees are in Exercise Science–the stuff is so fascinating! I love learning about the muscles in muscle physiology as well. 🙂 EPOC is a neat idea, but you’re right, it is a very small amount of extra calories after the workout….and did you know that it also varies depending on what types of workouts you do and in what order? i.e. cardio before strength and vice versa. very cool.

    I LOVE nut butters on toast–such a great snack 🙂 Have fun at CF!

  5. i found that when I was doing two-a-day workouts I really burned additional calories. who knows if it was mental or actually science ,but it worked!

  6. As someone who is working on her PhD in exercise physiology, I just wanted to comment on the EPOC concept. Yes, this is true that you do experience an elevation in in oxygen consumption after exercise, which means you are burning additional calories. However, this increase is negligible and would not be enough to account for additional weight loss. I just hate to see anyone misled by this post!

  7. Pistachios, Cashews, Almonds, Peanuts and sunflower seeds, in that order, are pretty much the only nuts I like. And I only like “just nuts” for the most part, meaning I don’t like nuts in my food. I like nuts. I like food. I don’t like nuts in my food. 🙂 Especially desserts!

    Also, wanted to say in response to some of the above comments, *I* did not feel like you were misleading anyone in the post about the effects of EPOC being major. I just felt like you were giving us some cool information. So, Thanks!

  8. Thanks for the cool info on epoc. That stuff is super interesting to me!
    I’ve never had egg salad, but I love hb eggs. I guess the mayo has always grossed me out a little, but I love Greek yogurt!
    You are pretty hardcore, running and going to crossfit in one day – very impressive!

  9. Interesting about splitting up workouts. I always feel like I’m getting a better workout if I do it all at once because the fatigue factor makes everything harder, but it makes a lot of sense from the EPOC viewpoint. Plus your muscles are recovered and you can probably push yourself harder at each session.

  10. Tina, when you do interval workouts on the treadmill, are you able to program it in, or do you manually bump the speed up and down at the right times? So far I’ve just stuck to the pre-programmed (very limited) options on the treadmill ’cause I fear being able to keep anything else straight!

  11. Dang! A run and cross-fit in one day..your are very inspring. I hope your eating goal is improving too. I always have a problem with late-night eating, not out of hunger but out of boredom ect. I can handle it now because I’m younger but I think if I keep up with the habit it will only end badly once I can’t burn off as much. I’m trying to improve now to prevent later weight gain. GOod luck to you and happy holidays!

  12. I feel like the after burn isn’t very large from what I’ve heard and I wouldn’t want to take a shower twice in one day/I wouldn’t go back to the gym to do lifting when I was just there. I like these articles though! 🙂

  13. I’d like to have a luxurious chocolate advent calendar. The chocolate in mine isn’t great to say the least! Do Green and Blacks or Godiva do calendars? I’m going to look into it.
    Nice idea for the egg salad – going to try it!

  14. I love pistachios too. I’m a peanut butter girl through and through, but when it comes to eating the actual not and not the butterfied form, I reach for pistachios. Larabar used to make a pistachio flavor that I LOVED but they discontinued it, I think I was the only one who ate it haha.

  15. Greek yogurt is a fab substitute for sour cream [I don’t do well with dairy but I have no problems with Greek yogurt] and for mayo, I just never have been a fan… I’ve never thought about breaking my workout up into different times- usually I’m in and out of the gym, but that’s a great alternative if you’re in a time crunch to fit it all in!

  16. I was wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on whether to do cardio in the AM and strength of an evening or vice versa? Not being a morning person I feel that I am not able to do as well or put as much into it when my body and coordination isn’t “awake” and it doesn’t always work to get both in of an evening.

    Thanks,
    Linda

  17. I had no idea that your body has to burn calories after you’re done working out in order to get back to its original state. But what does that mean? Back to a rested heart rate? It’s interesting that we need to take in a surplus of oxygen to aid in getting our bodies back to a normal state, but that just makes me even happier to know that even when I step off the tredmill, my body is still burnin calories!…And yes, I LOVE pistachios! They’re tasty and they’re the lowest calorie nut!

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