As a runner, we all run for a reason, those who are serious about the sport say they have a feeling of experiencing a “Natural High” as they’re going through their paces. And while we all know that we need to both hydrate and eat sensibly, maybe even while we’re running, depending on the distance, there has been research compiled that by exercising for a period of time, of at least 30 minutes, it can actually put a couple of “Blockers”, in place, curbing our appetite. What they are finding is that when we exercise, our bodies become hot and we start to feel flushed. But something else happens: our appetites decrease after the workout.
Most runners know that eating properly and of the right kinds of foods provide the fuel that our bodies need to sustain themselves as we place that one foot in front of the other during a race, or just training to get ready for one. And with that mindset in place, it just stands to reason that the more energy we expend through running, the hungrier we should become since we are using up our fuel source, food. But researchers have found in polling various groups of runners that the more they ran the less hungry they seemed to become. And that brought up the question as to why this is.
Studies have now shown that aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, and swimming, actually decreases appetite by changing the levels of hormones that drive our state of hunger. However, the underlying biological mechanisms that are therefore set in motion, and which tell our bodies to secrete fewer of the hormones that drive hunger, have remained uncertain.
But recently, one researcher decided to take steps toward understanding what goes on in the body after a decent workout. Young-Hwan Jo, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY, was intrigued by how his regular 45-minute runs always left him craving less food than usual. He believed that the fact that body heat goes up during exercise may play a role in signaling to the brain that appetite needs to go down. He thought the process might be similar to what happens in the body when we eat very spicy foods.
When we eat foods that contain spicy ingredients like hot chili peppers, our body temperature seems to go up, and our appetite decreases. That is because chili peppers contain a compound called “capsaicin,” which interacts with sensory receptors (TRPV1 receptors) in the body, bringing about the sensation of being hot and flushed. Capsaicin has also been shown to create a decrease in appetite, which has made this compound a target of research for weight loss treatments, for the past several years.
Following that train of thought, a study was conducted to see if the increased body heat felt after exercising might not stimulate neurons in brain areas responsible with homeostasis, the regulation of basic bodily processes, including eating. The study, which has been published in the Journal of PLOS Biology states: Intense exercise acutely decreases appetite and subsequent food intake. As exercise is accompanied by increased body temperature, we hypothesized that a rise in body temperature during exercise plays a role in reducing food intake. Hence, this study provides a novel perspective on the cellular mechanisms underlying energy balance: body temperature reduces food intake via TRPV1-like receptors.
This just goes to show that being active with your running programs, while possibly curbing your brains natural procedures in sending the right messages to have you eat more, you need to be aware of just how much your exercising and how much food you need to eat in order to maintain a proper balance between exerting energy and eating enough to restore what you have expended.
One way to monitor your training is having an accurate activity monitor that does just that, and the Garmin Forerunner 935 excels in monitoring your TE levels, or training status. Of which there are 7 different stages including, Productive, Overreaching and Peaking and calculates this by tracking your Lactate Threshold and VO2 Max.
Training Load is a 7 days summary of your training to let you know if you are training in the right zone by comparing your HR and V02 Max data. By using this data, you can then plot how well you are doing and how much exertion you’re putting out via the Heart Rate Zones which are automatically calculated based on you’re Lactate Threshold.
Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re under-training or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features
Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more. If you want more information on this great runner’s watch you can go to our sponsor, HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com and bring up all the info you need to make the decision if this is the sports monitor watch you’re looking for. In my book, it provides all the information I need in order to make the best decisions on how hard I’m training and more importantly when I need to give myself a much-needed rest. After all, you need to provide your body with not only the right kind of training, fuel and equipment, but you also need to allow it time to recover so that you can continue to improve your time, distance and personal goals.
So, keep in mind that while your running you may feel like you don’t need to eat as much as you should, but eating enough to fuel your runs allows you to give your body what it needs when it needs it!