How Your Body Uses Energy Based on Heart Rate

by Marie on 06/11/2015

How Your Body Uses Energy

During your frantic dash to trim your fat and shed pounds, you probably considered a host of strategies, diets and exercise plans, but one factor which you probably didn’t pay much attention to is how your body uses energy based on your heart rate. This is an important concept to help formulate the best diet and exercise plan that will permit you to enjoy a healthier life.

Sedentary State
Other than when you are asleep, your heart rate is at its slowest when you are sedentary. The slow heart rate communicates to the brain that you do not need energy at the moment. As your energy requirements are low and slow, your body will tap mostly into its fat reserves for energy. In an inactive state, the body will use fat for approximately 60% of its energy requirements. Although the proportion of fat utilization may be higher in this state, you need a low amount of calories (about 90 calories an hour) to sustain your bodily functions, so overall you will be burning minute quantities of fat.

Low to Moderate Intensity Workouts
Slow workouts, like walking or jogging, don’t raise your heart rate a great deal. This is a type of exercise you can perform over a longer period of time as you are not exerting great effort. Since your heart rate is not significantly increased, it does not communicate to the brain the need for swift energy to keep your bodily functions working. Fat continues to be your most significant source of fuel at this stage. Even during moderate intensity workouts your heart rate does not pick up enough steam to send signals to your brain to drastically change the ratio of energy drawing components which remain around 55% fat, 40% carbs and 2 to 5% proteins.

Strength-Training
When you hit the strength-training portion of your workout session, you feel your heart rate is increasing substantially. This occurs due to the additional stress which you are putting on your muscles. The higher heart rate is a quick signal for the brain that you need calories rapidly to sustain the activity you are engaged in and therefore the body switches from burning mostly fat based calories to extracting its energy needs from carbs. During intense endurance exercise, your heart rate tells your body to adjust its fuel supply ratio to approximately 70% from carbs, 25% from fat and 25% from protein. You will also burn more calories, in an identical time period, at this intensity level than you would at a slow to moderate pace.

High Heart Rate
Scientists know how your body uses energy based on your high heart rate signals. They have developed herbal stimulants and amphetamines to do just that. These supplements increase your heart rate and blood pressure, helping you to lose weight. These pills should be taken with precaution as they have side effects, like anxiety and insomnia. Some may even lead to death. When choosing a stimulant based supplement, speak with your doctor first to ensure it is safe for you.

How your body uses energy is an important question to consider before planning your exercise routine. With this knowledge, you can work out more efficiently and effectively.

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