Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Why Does Swimming Make You Hungry?


– If you’re anything like me, then you’ll have childhood memories of heading to the pool, getting out and feeling pretty ravenous. I have to admit, I’ve
actually carried this through to adulthood and when I’ve
finished a swim session, I’ll eat pretty much anything
I can get my hands on. And if this sounds familiar,
you might be pleased to hear there’s actually some evidence
as to why this happens. So today I’m going to go and investigate why swimming makes us so hungry. (beeping) (water splashes) This answer actually
involves several layers and in general, your
body is actually starting to compensate for that drop
in core body temperature after spending some time in the pool. But more on that bit in a moment. This is then coupled with
the fact that, obviously, you have burned a significant
amount of calories just like you would with
any form of exercise. And these two together
then trigger your body to release more of the
hunger hormone, ghrelin. Which obviously, is going
to make you want to eat more and helps your body to make
sure that you’re refueling. Perhaps this can help answer the riddle that many people face. It’s common for someone
to go and do exercise purely to lose weight, but it doesn’t always get the results that they might be hoping for. And that’s because it is really easy to actually consume more calories than you’re burning during that activity. So with that in mind, I think it’s time we head to the swimming pool. (upbeat music) Every action has an equal
and opposite reaction. Put that into swimming
terms and if you’re in water that’s close to body temperature, so 37 degrees centigrade,
or 98 Fahrenheit, then it’s actually been proven to have less of an effect on your hunger as your body isn’t going to need to react to conditions that are more similar to what it’s used to normally. That sounds simple, right? However, most swimming
pools aren’t heated up to body temperature water. They’re normally closer
to 28 degrees centigrade which is 82 Fahrenheit. That said, I can’t
imagine actually swimming in water that is at
body temperature as even in conditions with 30 degrees for example, it’s going to be rather
hard to get any fast efforts and it’ll make you feel pretty lethargic. However on the flip side, if you were doing a training
session that gets you hot and sweaty, it tends to have the effect of actually suppressing your appetite. And this is partly due to
the fact that the blood is going to need to flow to the surface to help your body cool down and regulate its
temperature and therefore, it’s taking your blood
away from your stomach. Whereas if you’re doing the same intensity of exercise but in a
swimming pool for example, it’s going to be much cooler so your body isn’t going to naturally
have to cool itself down so the blood can continue
to flow as normal, including to your stomach which then, in theory allows you to become hungry. (upbeat music) Whether you’re swimming
in a pool or open water, the colder the water,
the greater the effect it’s going to have on your hunger, and the more likely you are
to make poor food choices. Whether that’s going home
and raiding the fridge or even stopping on your
way home at the local garage or shop and picking up food that isn’t going to
help with your recovery. Or you might be wondering if this has the same effect of doing a training session
outside in the cold. Well it doesn’t in actual fact, as obviously we’ve talked about earlier, the water temperature
has a far greater effect on your core body temperature than the surrounding air will do. (upbeat music) So I expect, you are dying to know what you can do to counteract this feeling of extreme hunger you get after swimming. Well like we’ve talked
about the cooling effect, you now need to warm your
core body temperature up to try and reduce that feeling of hunger. One of which, if you’ve
got the facilities, is to jump in a sauna or a
hot tub for five to 10 minutes and that’ll soon bring
your temperature back up and hopefully suppress
some of that hunger. If you don’t have those facilities, then maybe just sit
under a nice warm shower. Also having a hot drink can
get straight to your core and can really have a
positive effect there. And if all else fails, and you are still going to
be hungry after swimming and after all, you have
burnt some calories then just make sure
you’re prepared for that by bringing plenty of healthy snacks you can have straight after your swim rather than getting tempted
by the swim sports cafe or the vending machines on your way home. I think the biggest take
home from this investigation is the fact that the hunger
you feel after swimming doesn’t directly reflect
the amount of calories you might have burned or how hard or how long your swim session was. And I know it’s reassured me to know that I’m not alone in this
feeling of hunger after swimming. And also just to
understand what’s happening will enable me to be
better prepared next time and hopefully you guys too. Let us know in the comments section below how you deal with your
post swimming hunger and give us a like and a follow at GTN.

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