Will Running Speed Up My Metabolism

As a passionate runner and fitness enthusiast, I’ve often wondered about the relationship between running and metabolism. Many of us have heard the claim that running can speed up metabolism, but is there any truth to it? Let’s dive into the science behind this popular belief and explore how running may affect our metabolism.

Understanding Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert food and drink into energy. It involves various chemical reactions that keep our cells and organs functioning. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories our bodies need to maintain basic functions while at rest. Physical activity, including running, can increase our overall energy expenditure, thereby impacting our metabolism.

The Afterburn Effect

One of the key arguments in favor of running’s impact on metabolism is the “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This refers to the additional calories burned after a workout as the body works to restore itself to a pre-exercise state. High-intensity running, such as sprinting or interval training, can lead to a greater EPOC, potentially boosting overall metabolism over time.

Muscle Development

Regular running can also contribute to muscle development, especially in the lower body. Lean muscle mass requires more energy to maintain than fat, meaning that as you build muscle through running, your body’s energy expenditure at rest may increase. This can have a positive effect on metabolism, as a higher muscle mass can lead to a higher BMR.

Fueling the Body

It’s important to consider the nutritional aspect of running and its impact on metabolism. Ensuring that the body is properly fueled with a balanced diet can support a healthy metabolism. Running can increase the body’s demand for nutrients, so it’s essential to consume an adequate amount of quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to support both running performance and metabolic function.

Factors to Consider

While running can potentially have a positive effect on metabolism, it’s essential to consider individual differences and other influencing factors. Age, genetics, overall activity level, and muscle mass all play a role in determining an individual’s metabolic rate. Additionally, extreme or excessive running without proper rest and recovery can have negative effects on metabolism and overall health.


In conclusion, while running can have various potential benefits for metabolism, it’s important to approach it as part of a holistic approach to health and wellness. Consistent, balanced training, adequate nutrition, and sufficient rest are all critical components of maintaining a healthy metabolism. As for my personal experience, I’ve found that incorporating running into my fitness routine has not only improved my endurance and overall fitness but also positively impacted my metabolism over time.