Weight gain after exercise

Sep 2, 2009
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#1
Alright.

I have been keeping a close eye on my weight, and have noticed an interesting phenomenon.

After a big workout, be that going to hell and back on the trainer or after a big ride, immediately after, I am usually lighter in weight.

Then, the next day, when I wake up, I am significantly heavier, to the point where it can not be the amount of food I have eaten between stopping exercise, and waking up. This weight then gradually slides off again, until I return to around the point (or lower) I was before the big workout.

I have looked around dat ol' internet, and there seem to be a number of ideas of the cause;

-Sodium levels have been thrown out of whack (ie, are high) due to all the funky supplements consumed during the big session, and that is causing water retention.

-Hard exercise causes the muscles to retain water (no idea of the validity of this claim, but putting it out there anyway.)

-Inflammation caused by delayed on-set muscle soreness is adding weight.

Well, I am interested in two things, really; firstly, your thoughts on the cause. Secondly, your own personal experience with this. Keeping track of weight is part of the training program I have, and any fluctuations like this obviously affect the way I go things.

Cheers.
 

FarEast

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#2
Over compensation, remember water follows sodium so if your sodium levels are up your body will naturally retain water to balance the body out. The Inflammation again is water retention in the cells - one way of stopping this is ice baths straight after a heavy training session.

Also carb loading, the body will store more carbs after a heavy workout (Many incorrectly beleive that eating a ton of pasta the night before a ride is carb loading)

So actually your weight increase could actually be a combination of all of the above.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#3
Nice one.

The 3 causes I put in my post were just some of the reasons for the weight gain that other people had said. Do you agree with what they are saying? I pretty much have no idea and am just starting my research on this. What they say seems to make sense, however.

Your point about storing carbs is interesting, and is extra to the 3 main points I found.

Hear you on the weight increase possibly being a combo of everything; would make the most sense.
 

FarEast

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#4
I would say water retention is the biggest factor for weight gain after riding - your body will over compensate on the lost minerals and then the water follows, over the next few days the body realises that you aren't actually needing the water to regulate body heat nor the sodium for firing cells in the muscles and thus sheds sodium and liquids returning the body to its previous state.

Also one other thing to look at is your normal hydration levels, you may actually be in a constant state of dehydration, I know many recreational athletes that suffer from this condition. Quaffing 2 liters of water straight after a ride does not constitute good hydration, it will make you bloated and all you will do is excrete what the body can't process. Best to drink steadily on the hour every hour after riding to replenish lost liquids.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#5
Understand about normal hydration; I am very careful about this - when I first started hitting the training, I overshot it a bit and dehydrated significantly. Learned my lesson and have since kept a very firm grip on things. When I first started focusing on my weight, it was interesting to see just how much the fluids we drink affect our weight. Makes perfect sense, as fluids can be consumed far quicker, and in a far greater mass than solid food. Was a kind of, 'huh, oh yeah...' moment.
 

FarEast

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#12
1 liter of water is a kilo.
1 kilo of cheese, ham, olives and French bread is a kilo too.
I'd wager that the water would be passed out before the food!
LOL yes - What my meaning was is that you are going to gain more weight through water intake than food intake - try eating 1kg of cheese, but remember the majority of the weight in food is water content.

Yes water does pass very quickly through the body, however the body will and must retain water after strenuous exercise and the amount of water retained can be very high. Just like the weight loss from cycling through water excretement is very high.
 

FarEast

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#15
How do you know if this is the case?

I don't but it is a common issue with many athletes - the only way you can really know for sure is by using a specific biometric scales - something I use with all the atheletes I coach, thus why I said "You MAY be in a constant state of dehydration" and not "You ARE in a constant state of dehydration"
 

FarEast

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#17
How does this work?
To quote Jeremy Clarkson..... "Voodoo" Butr in a nut shell it send an electric pulse through the body that can work out bone, muscle fat and water content, through more voodoo. But Tanita scales are what are used in the medical and sports science industry..... they know thier voodoo