Oct 24, 2023What are the benefits of EPOC?
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), often called the “afterburn effect,” is the increased use of oxygen and calories after you stop exercising. It’s the energy your body uses to return to a resting state — a gift that keeps on giving.
A recent story from ClevelandClinic.org detailed what EPOC is and how it can be beneficial. Below is an excerpt from the ClevelandClinic.org story.
Sports medicine physician Michael Dakkak, DO, compares EPOC to the heat of a car’s engine.
“After you turn off your car, the engine stays warm,” he illustrates. “Your response to exercise is similar. When you finish a workout, your body continues to burn energy as part of recovery.”
Experts aren’t sure how long EPOC lasts, though estimates range from 15 minutes to 48 hours.
Researchers use high-tech laboratory equipment to measure oxygen consumption during and after exercise. Some advanced fitness trackers also predict EPOC using data collected during your workout. But most people don’t have access to real-time, personal EPOC.
You can estimate EPOC using information from research studies. According to one study, the EPOC effect produces a 6% to 15% increase in overall calorie consumption. So, if you use 300 calories during a workout, you may burn up to 45 bonus calories from EPOC.
This may not seem significant, considering you naturally burn 1,300 to 2,000 calories a day. But EPOC calories add up.