Why Does The Body Weight Increase Right After Exercising?
There can be reasons why a person may notice an increase, in body weight right after exercising.
Understanding these reasons can help alleviate any concerns. Lets take a look at why this might happen;
- Muscle. Recovery; When you work out especially if its intense or something new to your routine your muscles experience tears. This is actually beneficial as it leads to muscle growth and strength improvement over time. However in response to these micro tears the body initiates an inflammation process to repair the muscle fibers. This inflammation can cause retention within the muscles resulting in a weight gain.
- Glycogen Refueling; When you exercise your body utilizes glycogen (stored carbohydrates) as its source of energy. After your workout your body works on replenishing these glycogen stores. For every gram of carbohydrate stored three grams of water are also stored in the body. As your glycogen levels are restored water retention occurs temporarily. This can contribute to an increase, in weight.
- Fluid Balance Restoration; While exercising you may lose an amount of fluids through sweat. Afterward it is common to rehydrate by drinking water or sports drinks.
When it comes to recovery it's important to remember that the intake of fluids can temporarily increase your body weight. This can happen because some people tend to eat more or consume protein shakes/smoothies after exercising which adds to the weight due, to the food or liquid ingested. Additionally regular exercise can lead to an increase in blood volume as part of improvements. This increase in blood volume may cause a weight gain. It is actually a positive sign of improved health and fitness.
It's worth noting that these temporary increases in weight should not be a cause for concern. In fact regular exercise plays a role in maintaining a lifestyle and contributes to long term weight loss and improvements in body composition even if there are occasional fluctuations in the short term.
To better track your long term weight progress it's more beneficial to focus on trends over time than getting caught up in day to day changes. Weight can fluctuate for reasons to fat gain.
For information on how your body responds to exercise you may find the American Council, on Exercise (ACE) website helpful; ACE Fitness. If you're interested, in understanding the effects of staying hydrated on your body weight you may find the Mayo Clinics article on water retention. It provides information on this topic. You can access the article Mayo Clinic. Water Retention.
For an in depth understanding of how nutrition can influence your recovery after a workout Precision Nutrition offers comprehensive guides that cover this subject. You can explore their resources on workout nutrition here; Precision Nutrition. Recovery Nutrition.
1 Other Answers To: "Why Does The Body Weight Increase Right After Exercising?"
It can be quite puzzling to see the numbers, on the scale go up immediately after working out. However this is usually a phenomenon caused by responses. Let me provide you with some explanations for why you might experience weight gain after exercising:
- Replenishing Muscle Energy; Following a workout your body refuels its muscle glycogen stores, which serve as the energy source for short and high intensity exercises. This replenishment process also leads to an increase in water content within the muscle cells resulting in a weight gain due to water retention associated with glycogen storage.
- Lactic Acid and Fluid Retention; During workouts your muscles produce lactic acid. In response your body temporarily retains water as it buffers the acid buildup. This retention of fluid might manifest as an increase in weight after your workout.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS);
DOMS refers to the muscle pain and stiffness that typically emerges 24 to 72 hours following an new workout routine. The micro trauma experienced by muscle fibers during DOMS can lead to term retention as part of the natural healing process.
Please note that these factors contribute to changes in weight and should not be cause, for concern.
- Increase in Appetite After Exercise; Following activity some individuals may experience a rise, in hunger leading them to consume calories or hydrate themselves more after their workout. This increased intake can result in an immediate increase in body weight.
- Changes in Blood Flow; Engaging in exercise boosts blood flow to muscles, which can cause an increase in blood volume as part of the bodys response to physical activity. Consequently this may temporarily contribute to an uptick in weight due to the fluid within the vascular system.
- Influence of Attire and Equipment; If you weigh yourself immediately after exercising without removing your workout attire, the weight of sweat soaked clothing can add pounds on the scale. Similarly accessories like fitness trackers or heavier training shoes might marginally influence the displayed weight.
It is important to understand that these factors are healthy responses to activity and should not be mistaken for actual fat gain. To avoid any misinterpretations it is recommended not to weigh yourself after exercising but choose a consistent time of day, for weighing – preferably in the morning after using the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything.
If you want to learn more, about how the body functions during and after exercise I recommend diving into a textbook on exercise physiology. A option to consider is "Exercise Physiology; Nutrition, Energy and Human Performance" written by William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch and Victor L. Katch – it provides an understanding of the topic.
When it comes to understanding how nutrition supports exercise and recovery the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers resources and guidance through registered dietitians on their website Eatright.org.
Keep in mind that short term fluctuations are normal in your fitness journey. The key, to achieving and maintaining your health and fitness goals lies in developing habits over time.