EPOC Training

Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption

Why you need to know about EPOC

We all want to get maximum results in the shortest amount of time. What would you say if I told you that the type of exercise you do can help to burn more calories whilst you are sitting writing that presentation? This physiological effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Want to find out how to achieve this? We need to geek out a bit….

EPOC is the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to homeostasis (basically its normal level of metabolic function). Exercise that places a greater demand on the anaerobic energy pathways (higher intensity) can increase the need for oxygen long after the workout has finished, thereby enhancing the EPOC effect. During more steady state, lower intensity exercise, the body’s aerobic system can replenish the “oxygen debt” and you recovery quickly. This result is you only burn the calories during the actual workout. High intensity exercise is the best way to stimulate the EPOC effect.

The body expends approximately 5 calories of energy to consume 1 liter of oxygen. Therefore, increasing the amount of oxygen consumed both during and after a workout, can increase the amount of net calories burned. Burn more calories DURING and AFTER the workout…WIN WIN.

A perfect class for this is AFTERBURN. This type of training can be beneficial even if you are training for longer more endurance based events such as a marathon or triathlon. You will find that when you do go back to slower, steady state cardio, you’ll be able to maintain that longer with more ease.

Nutritionally you will need to ensure you “refill the tank” after this type of training. You will have depleted your muscle glycogen (energy stores) and the first hour after is the best time to replenish these stores. A meal containing quality protein, carbohydrates and a small amount of fat is idea. Head down to Natural fitness food and grab yourself the perfect refuel meal!


Bersheim, E. and Bahr, R. (2003). Effect of exercise intensity, duration and mode on post-exercise oxygen consumption. Sports Medicine, 33, 14, 1037-1060

LaForgia, J., Withers, R. and Gore, C. (2006). Effects of exercise intensity and duration on the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Journal of Sport Sciences, 24, 12, 1247-1264

Evening Refuelling

If you train in the evening, Liam Holmes, our resident there are some areas that you need to focus on with regards to your nutrition and your sleep:

There is research out there that suggests the time of day you train can have a big impact on the physiological responses to your session. In my opinion it comes down to just getting your session done! Here is some advice to help you structure your nutrition for evening training and recovery.


Whether your training starts at 6pm or 9pm you have to ensure that you are fuelled adequately for the session. Too often I see athletes that will eat lunch at 1pm and then not eat again until after the session or grab something on route to training. Regardless of your training stimulus you need to be fuelling your body by providing enough calories over the whole day. Remember you are providing your body energy for work not just training.

Having a mid afternoon “mini-meal” will help you in three ways:

  • It will provide calories to support your evening training session.
  • It can help to prevent that energy slump mid afternoon or early evening.
  • It will support your recovery and help sleep (more on this later).

What you choose to have for your mini meal depends on your personal goals, training type and volume. But some meals I suggest to the athletes I work with:

The reasoning behind a mini meal is it will combat over-snacking, which often doesn’t leave you full enough (which in turn causes more snacking).


Ever struggled to get to sleep after an evening training session? Laying in bed wide awake is not good for any athletes recovery. Luckily there are specific foods and nutrients can balance hormones and neurotransmitters that have been either elevated or suppressed during any evening exercise.

Boosting melatonin, serotonin and growth hormone levels will help to induce a nice healthy sleep and kick-start your recovery. If you get your nutrition on point you can take advantage of this spike in growth hormone to maximise your recovery.

Foods that will help you achieve this include carbohydrates. Yep that’s right I said it – eat carbs in the evening! Why? After exercise your body is primed to absorb carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores. This is absolutely essential if you are training or competing the next day. For those of you thinking about training low or metabolic flexibility I will be writing an article on these very soon.

Carbohydrates will also lower cortisol levels due to insulin secretion. The consumption of certain foods that increase the availability of tryptophan, alongside synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, will also aid in promoting sleep.

Eating some protein containing Omega-3 fatty acids is also recommended. I don’t need to tell you the importance of protein for muscle repair, but eating quality protein in the evening can also increase your serotonin levels. The very last thing you want to be doing is eating foods that heighten the inflammatory response. Foods that are deep-fried or high in refined sugar should not even be on your radar.

Here are some recipe ideas that I always suggest, that help induce healthy sleep:

7 Reasons Diets Don’t Work

When we hear the word diet we often think of food deprivation, bland meals and unpleasant periods of semi-starvation. Thinking like this is completely wrong as a diet does not have to mean any of the above. Let us teach you how you can replace this way of thinking with a sustainable long-term healthy eating plan allowing you to eat normal foods without restricting yourself and learn the reasons why diets do not work.



There are many fad diets out there and each is said to be able to help every single one of us, but what they do not take into consideration is how we are all physiologically different and how all of our bodies need different foods and requirements. This may explain how you and your friend have both been following the same diet but she has managed to loose 10lbs and you only 2lbs.


When a calorie restricted diet is followed over a prolonged period of time your body will go into famine mode and start to hold onto the calories that you eat and the stored body fat. It can even start eating into its own muscles for fuel (becoming catabolic). Chronic under eating tends to lead to binge eating and feeling bloated. Bloating often happens after a binge eating session as your body has consumed foods it is not used to, alongside the increase in volume. Shocking the body like this is not sustainable.


A diet is often perceived as a quick fix and something you can dip in and out of when you want to lose weight for a certain event or time of year. Ultimately most people think that these diets are unsustainable as they are not suitable to be followed over a prolonged period of time. The most efficient change you can make is in experimenting and finding out what will work for you, eliminating any foods that cause you irritation and monitoring your calories in and calories out. Be sure to add in lots of protein, good fats, vegetables and salad. Don’t forget that you can also have treats, but in moderation.

Don’t turn your treat into a daily habit – it is not a treat then!



Many of us have to come think that “diet foods” are the best and most effective way to lose weight. In fact they may even be hindering your weight loss progress as these low fat, fat free products are all highly refined and processed containing virtually no nutrients whatsoever, so aim to avoid these wherever possible.


The cycle of deprivation and binge eating mentioned earlier can lead to weight gain and not weight loss, so you could become your own worst enemy. The most effective way to find a sustainable plan is to find real foods that are nutrient dense helping to keep you fuller for longer and aiding your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function.


Following a calorie-restricted diet and depriving yourself of foods which you deem to be bad can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, leading to cycles of deprivation and binge eating. The most important point to take on board here is to focus on eating good fats, proteins and vegetables allowing nutrient dense foods to nourish your body, helping you to build a good relationship with proper food.


When restricting calories your body will become stressed and an unfavourable hormonal environment can be created. Changes such as raised cortisol levels, thyroid dysfunction, impaired detoxification and altered energy production can make it much more difficult for you to burn fat and lose weight.

Using functional medicine testing  you can identify where and what is affecting your metabolism.


For all of the reasons above it is suggested that following a “diet” is not the best way to lose weight and become healthy, in fact following a sustainable life-long healthy eating programme is.

Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

Can you have your Turkey & Trimmings and Eat it?

Ahhhh the festive season. Mulled wine, chocolates, work nights out with half a tonne of mini burgers, it can all be too much. Here is some advice on how to manage your nutrition during this period.

Manage your excess.

Don’t let one purple quality street turn into an empty box. It is fine to be a little more relaxed with your nutrition but you need to employ a smidgen of self-control. If you know you are going to have a big feast or a big night out then be disciplined in the time leading up to this. Get in credit which will enable you to fully enjoy the event!

You can also be smart when knowing there is potential to eat off plan. Lower your calories over the day so you can indulge slightly at a social event. HOWEVER MAKING DRASTIC CHANGES SUCH AS ONLY EATING 400 CALORIES OVER THE DAY SO YOU CAN EAT 1500 AT DINNER IS NOT ADVISED!

Do some glycogen depleting training.

Training with high intensity and volume will deplete muscle glycogen levels. You can then increase carbohydrate intake (helloooo roasties!). Depleting muscle glycogen will ensure that the majority of the carbs you are eating will be used to replenish your energy stores opposed to being stored as body fat.

Eat protein and fat first.

Can you have your Turkey & Trimmings and Eat it? Third Space Sports Medicine

How you eat your meals can make a big difference in the way the food is digested and stored in your body. More on this in January.

Fill your plate with veggies, protein, fats and carbs – IN THAT ORDER!

Doing this will reduce the amount of starchy carbs you put on your plate. Pile that turkey high!! Less room for the goose fat potatoes!

Eat before a night out.

Canopies, finger food and set menus. These are the devils for keeping your nutrition on point. Too easy to overeat with minimal nutritional value. The trick? Eat a fibre and protein rich meal before you head out. M & S superfood salad or a homemade mint and avocado chocolate smoothie. This will reduce the urge to mindlessly snack.

Xmas specific supplements.

Supporting the liver (number one priority) and taking certain nutrients to maintain body composition can be extremely helpful. Eating more of these foods can help support liver function.
With most of the patients we work with trying to employ the 80/20 rule is advised. Be on your plan for 80% of the time. 20% you can be more relaxed.

Inflame In The Membrane

Understanding how to manage inflammation can help boost your health and supercharge your performance. Inflammation is a crucial part of the bodies immune response. However there are two sides to the story!

There are two types of inflammation – acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation can be a response to exercise stress, an injury or infection. Physiological changes that occur include increased blood flow, accumulation of white blood cells, redness, heat, swelling and pain at the affected site. We need acute inflammation to promote the generation of new cells which leads to healing. With exercise stress this is how the body adapts to the stimulus and recovers.

Acute inflammation is crucial but it needs to be managed in the correct way.

Chronic inflammation is a long-term physiological response to one or more factors. It is a failure of the body’s immune system to maintain a healthy homeostatic state. It occurs when there is repeated exposure to acute inflammation or it is poorly managed. Factors such as poor nutrition, environmental toxins, over-training or infection can lead to chronic inflammation. If you do not address your nutrition and lifestyle then it could lead to the clinical symptoms of disease and poor performance.

Chronic inflammation is something we want to minimise as much as possible! Luckily we have put some tips together to help guide you in managing inflammation.


Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, E, zinc and selenium which will reduce inflammation.

●  Vitamin A is found in eggs, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato.

●  Vitamin C is found in broccoli, cauliflower, citrus fruit, tomatoes and berries.

●  Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, avocado and eggs.

●  Zinc is found in meat, nuts and seeds

●  Selenium is found in Brazil nuts and seafood

●  Pineapple and papaya contain enzymes (bromelain and papain) that lower inflammation


Growth hormone levels are highest with good quality sleep. When we are sleep deprived, T cells (important for immunity) are lowered and cytokines (inflammatory cells) are raised. Bottom line……ENSURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP.


Certain spices aid in reducing inflammation in the body, as well as making your food taste better. Be generous with the ginger, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.


Steering clear of processed foods is a quick way to avoid many inflammatory agents. These include omega-6 fatty acids, trans fats and refined carbohydrates.


Omega 3 fatty acids are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. The highest levels are
found in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, eggs, walnuts and flax seed and oil and green leafy vegetables.


B – Vitamins perform hundreds of different functions to help us produce energy, improve digestion and create anti-inflammatory substances from our food. Increase the amount of beans, vegetables, seafood and meat you eat alongside supplementing with a high strength B-Complex.


Exercise reduces inflammation, but it also increases it. And depending on the context, this increased inflammation due to exercise is either a good thing or a bad thing. Confused?!? It is all about balance.

Whatever your exercise regime, whether it is regular walking, high intensity gym work or marathon training make sure you are implementing proper recovery time with sound nutrition support.

Want to work with Liam in London Bridge to get your bespoke nutrition plan? Head over to here to book in!

Finger (gar)Licking Good Immune Boosting Food

With winter fast approaching, finding ways to boost your immune system is vital. Liam in London Bridge and Clapham Junction is on hand to provide us with the best foods to include in your diet to boost your immunity before you pick up that bug going around the Northern and Jubilee lines….

Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds

Brazil nuts are high in the antioxidant selenium and pumpkin seeds are very high in zinc. Both nutrients support your body at a cellular level, strengthening your immune system.

Make a brazil nut and pumpkin seed vanilla smoothie


A powerhouse vegetable that is highly nutrient- dense, broccoli is rich in chlorophyll and contains other beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids and phytonutrients.

Steam for 2 minutes then pan fry in chilli and garlic

Garlic and ginger

Ginger and garlic are an awesome immune function double team. They contain compounds such as allicin and gingerols that have immunostimulatory effects, antimicrobial properties and help lower inflammation . All helping support a healthy immune system.

Add to a stir fry!

Green Tea

Rich in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins, green tea has been used as a health-promoting beverage for centuries. Catechins have antimicrobial properties and the antioxidants may help reduce the effects of stress, in addition to supporting immune function.

Try to drink 2-3 cups per day – or brew some and then let it cool and add to smoothies.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Not only are shiitake mushrooms high in amino acids, rich in B vitamins and are a good source of vitamin D. They also contain beta glucans and polysaccharides which naturally improve the function of your T-cells (immune system cells).

Whack them in a stir fry or make some chicken and mushroom soup


Now this is a proper superfood! This spice delivers a wealth of phytonutrients and has been shown to numerous benefits for overall health and performance. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. This warrior can reduce oxidative stress, stimulate the T cells responsible for immune health, and aid in cellular protection Pretty impressive stuff!

Make sure you take it with black pepper and a fat source to increase absorption. Perfect recipe would be turmeric roasted salmon.

For bespoke advice book in with Liam here and for other tips and hints on your health please see our YouTube Channel here.

Bring On The Blue Milk

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk (well, low-fat milk…) 

So the news that high fat isn’t as bad as we thought and actually sugar is the problem is relatively old news (see our blog on where we de-bunk some common diet myths form a new months ago). The over consumption of sugar has been tied to obesity, diabetes, inflammatory-related pain and much, much more. Because of this, it is recommended by the World Health Organisation that we shouldn’t be consuming calories from sugary drinks.

The one exception to this, however, is reduced-fat milk. In fact, the American Medical Association recommend that children drink three cups a day. Full fat milk has proportionately lower levels of sugar than reduced-fat options yet whole milk is vilified for it’s fat content – a whopping 4 whole percent. Not exactly high fat!

While saturated fat was the villain for decades, a 2010 analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease”.

Furthermore, there are numerous benefits to drinking full-fat milk – in it’s most pure state (raw, organic) research has shown it has the potential to promote heart health, control diabetes, aid mineral absorption, lower bowel cancer risk and even help weight-loss. 

Milk is also by far the most cost-effective post-exercise recovery drink, high in protein and amino acids, it quenches thirst and repairs any muscle micro-strains you may have sustained!

However, before you consume more whole milk, do take care to consider the organic vs. non-organic options as there may be 20+painkillers or antibiotics lurking in your milk.

Bring On The Blue Milk Third Space Sports Medicine

Still Detoxing? Don’t Waste Your Money

Do You Need A New Liver Or A New Wallet?

Still Detoxing? Don't Waste Your Money Third Space Sports Medicine

We saw this yesterday and it tickled us – thank you Phil Hyland for posting the picture originally. We are looking one further because the liver is much talked about but little understood how it actually works so there is a very interesting video at the bottom  of this email that sums it up nicely!

Farting IS Good For You!

Farting IS Good For You! Third Space Sports Medicine

Farting is not acceptable in public. Is this because of the noise? The smell? Or simply because it is a stark reminder that we are all little more than animals making our way in the world? In fact, we praise babies for farting, clapping and whooping like they have just won an olympic gold medal!

Farting is, simply, good for you. If we look at the science behind what is going on, as James Meadow a former University of Oregon researcher spent his time doing, we can see that each person has their own “Microbiome”; the cultures of bacteria that live on and in our bodies and indeed create a cloud around us all the time.

Let’s look at the cloud around us – not all of this is flatulence but some of it is. When you fart, you emit a cocktail of gas but also plenty of bacteria suspended in this gas too.

The average person farts somewhere between 8 and 20 times a day, producing half a litre of gas in 24hrs and although we think of farts as smelly, 99% of their volume is odourless, consisting of oxygen, nitrogen (that we have swallowed) plus carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane produced by our gut bacteria.

The smelly part of a fart comes from the sulphide products from our bacteria digesting what is in our gut.

Without our gut bacteria we would be in a lot of pain, so if you aren’t farting it is a good indication that your gut bacteria aren’t doing their job probably. So next time you feel the need to ‘fertilise the air’, think of yourself as a well oiled machine working at peak performance!

If you are struggling with any aspect of your health, get yourself booked for your treatment with us  here, now, we like helping!

6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do

6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine

Thanks to the wonderful team at Babylon, who put together a great summary of how your kitchen may prevent an otherwise inevitable trip to the pharmacy for some Lemsip….
6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine


A joy of Autumn, along with blueberries, bananas, dark chocolate and red wine, Apples are packed with flavenoids. Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties super-molecules to give you the best chance of fighting infection 
6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine


Most people don’t like them but sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin K, needed for blood clotting, an essential part of the healing process. The average adult needs slightly less than 1mg of Vitamin K every day, and your liver will store excess for later use, so it’s easy to get all the vitamin K you need from a varied diet. Sprouts are also high in Iron, a vital component for producing red blood cells, so eat Sprouts and give your blood levels a boost. 
6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine


Parsnips, as well as bananas, contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps carry electrical messages around the body via nerves. Potassium can help lower blood pressure by causing the kidneys to retain more sodium, help maintain bone health and reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. Potassium rich foods also prevent leg cramps and other muscle spasms because of the role potassium plays with nerve impulses and muscle contraction throughout the body. 
6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine


Squash is high in omega 3, a fatty acid linked to brain and visual development in babies and research has found that cultures who eat foods high in Omega 3 have lower levels of depression. Omega 3 can also be found in Salmon, Sardines, and Tuna. To cut a long story short, Omega 3 is good for your brain. If you find the long dark winter days depressing, make sure you get plenty of Omega 3.
6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine


Pumpkin is high in many vitamins, including B1(Thiamin), B3 (Niacin), and B6 (Pyridoxine). Thiamin helps to break down and release the energy you get from your food. It also helps to keep your nervous system healthy. Niacin also contributes to good skin.
If you don’t get enough vitamin B you can get anaemia and skin disorders. Low levels of vitamin B have also been linked to depression, confusion, and a greater susceptibility to infections. Eat plenty of pumpkin to beat infections and help lift your moods during the winter months. 
6 Great Seasonal Foods And What They Actually Do Third Space Sports Medicine

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, apart from being delicious are high in vitamin A, which helps your immune system fight infections, and it helps your vision in dim light. It also contributes to keeping your skin healthy, especially the lining of the nose. It’s the season for cold and flu, so give your nose a fighting chance and eat plenty of Sweet Potatoes.