Do you feel hungry after working out and end up binging on food? If yes, you should know that all your hard work goes in vain because you're unable to control your hunger pangs.
Australian nutritionist and exercise scientist Katherine Alleaume recently explained this scenario by revealing the relationship between physical activity and appetite.
"Just as exercise and weight loss is a complex relationship, so too is physical activity and appetite. Burning calories through exercise makes your body crave food in order to replenish your energy stores," Katherine told the Daily Telegraph.
"However, a recent scientific review suggests that certain workouts deplete your energy stores more than others — having greater potential to stimulate growling in your belly," she added.
She suggested staying hydrated as it can actually help control cravings. She explained the body "often mistakes thirst for hunger", which can be dangerous.
"If you lose a lot of water through sweating during a workout, your body might trick you into thinking that you're hungry," she said.
She also revealed that high-intensity exercises such as cycle classes temporarily suppress hunger and low-intensity workouts like pilates trigger heightened production of ghrelin — the hunger hormone.
"Intense effort triggers higher volumes of blood and energy to be diverted to the muscles, heart and lungs... In other words, the more blood you're pulling away from the gut, the less hungry you're going to feel," she said.
So, to prevent overeating, Katherine's recommended consuming a healthy post-workout snack containing a balance of carbohydrates and protein 30 minutes to an hour after working out.
She said weightlifting and watersports, like swimming and water polo, are real "hunger-driving culprits".
"This is because pumping iron causes micro-tears in the muscle. As they repair, your muscles grow bigger and stronger. So, the more muscle you have, the hungrier you get," Katherine explained.
Therefore, planning a post-workout snack which is healthy is very important.