Why do I weigh more after working out?

This is a common question asked by people concerned about losing or maintaining a specific weight. Now, I personally, hate weighing in. I believe that you should base your lifestyle off of how you feel...not how much you weigh. But hey, people like to track their weight!

A question came up this weekend from a friend. She is an active adult athlete that completed a 12+ hour Ruck event. The days following, her weight was up, despite half a day worth of training. A few things happen during the event and following the event.

Your body naturally wants to get back to a balanced level; homeostasis. During the event, glycogen was depleted and muscle fibers were torn and damaged. So, her body was attempting to return to a healthy status.

1️⃣ Increased carbohydrate intake following exercise helps to replenish muscle and liver glycogen. Glycogen is osmotically active (a fancy term for “water-holding”). So in turn, this refueling process increases our overall fluid retention. 

2️⃣ Rapid or severe decrease in water and electrolytes (from exhaustive exercise for example), can activate the production of aldosterone, a hormone that regulates water and electrolyte levels in the body. It also regulates blood volume and blood pressure. A 12+ hour ruck can stimulate aldosterone, which stimulates sodium reabsorption, leading to further water retention.

This is a normal process! Don't panic. Your body will return to normal on it’s own as long as you're following appropriate eating habits and take the time to recover. 


Written By Ryan Richmond: @Richmond_Performance