The Role of Oxygen in Fat Loss
Did you know that you cannot burn fat without oxygen?
Oxygen plays a very important role in the fat burning process, and it's essential that you understand how your body works in order to get the most from your workouts.
The Way Your Muscles Work
The only form of energy that your muscles can use is called ATP. Your body stores as much ATP in your muscle fibers as possible, ensuring that you have the energy needed when you work.
Let's say you start lifting weights. For the first four minutes of your workout, your muscles are feeding off the ATP energy that is already stored in your muscle fibers. Once it depletes the stored energy, the muscle cells combine ADP and Creatine Phosphate--two more nutrients available in your muscles--to produce about 25 to 30 seconds' worth of ATP energy. All told, your muscles have about 30 to 35 seconds of energy available.
Once that stored energy is used up, your body has to use glycogen--essentially blood sugar. Your muscles break down glycogen into lactic acid and pyruvate, and ATP energy is produced. Now is when oxygen begins to play a role in energy production, as it helps your body to produce the ATP energy. Without oxygen, no new energy can be produced.
So your body is producing energy thanks to the oxygen and glycogen, but there is only 400 to 500 calories' worth of glycogen in the human body. As glycogen supplies run low, your body turns to fatty acids as an alternative form of energy. It activates the fat cells it has stored for just such an occasion, and the oxygen, glucose, and fatty acids begin to fuel your body with energy. It's the phenomenon known as the "second wind".
Can you see now why oxygen is so important for fat loss?
Without oxygen, your body wouldn't be able to produce the energy it needs to fuel your muscles. Oxygen helps your body to produce the ATP your muscles need, and ensures that you can activate fatty acids and burn them for energy as well.
In fact, the more oxygen present in your blood during the workout, the more fatty acids you can burn. It's why low-intensity steady state exercise is considered so effective for long-term fat burning. If you burn through your glycogen stores during your strength training workout, by the time you hit the treadmill your body is mostly running on fatty acids and oxygen. A 30-minute jog will burn fat almost exclusively, helping you to achieve serious fat loss with less time invested!
Taking it to the next level
This research has even been used to help enhance BELDT Labs' most popular fat-burning supplement, SKALD: Oxydynamic Fat Scorcher By leveraging a key component studied for its role in bronchodilation, which is the relaxation and expansion of respiratory airways, SKALD is designed to help users experience improved fat loss by way of elevated blood oxygen levels combined with its various lipolytic (fat releasing), thermogenic (heat generating), and energy-boosting properties, as well as its notable effects on appetite suppression.
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Thompson D.L., Townsend K.M., Boughey R., Patterson K., and Bassett D.R. Jr. (1998). Substrate use during and following moderate- and low-intensity exercise: implications for weight control. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology. Jun;78(1):43-49.
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