The bioimpedance is an examination that analyzes your body composition, indicating the approximate amount of muscle, bone and fat. This examination is used a lot in gyms and supplement queries of nutrition to evaluate the results of the workout plan or diet, for example, and can be performed every 3 or 6 months to compare results and to check for any evolution of the body composition.
This type of examination is on scales that are special, like Tanite or Omron, who have metal plates that lead to a type weak electric current that runs through the entire body.
Therefore, in addition to the current weight, these scales also show you the amount of muscle, fat, water, and even the calories that the body burns throughout the day, according to sex, age, height and intensity of the activity of physics, which are the data entered in the balance.
How it works
The apparatus of bioimpedance are able to assess the percentage of fat, muscle, bone, and body water because an electric current passes through the body by metal plates. This current travels easily through water and, therefore, the tissues very hydrated, as the muscles, let the current pass quickly. Already the fat and the bones have little water and, in this way, the current has more difficulty to pass.
And, and so the difference between the resistance of the grease, let the current pass, and the speed with which it passes in the tissues as the muscles, for example, allows the apparatus to calculate the value that indicates the amount of lean body mass, fat and water.
Thus, to know the composition of the body, just climb barefoot and without socks, in a Tanite, for example, or hold, in the hands, the metal plates of another type of apparatus smaller. The major difference between these two methods of bioimpedance is that, on balance, the results are more accurate for the composition of the lower half of the body, while in the device, which is in the safe hands, the result refers to the composition of the trunk, arms and head. In this way, the way more rigorous know body composition is to use a scale that combines the two methods.
How to ensure accurate results
For that examination indicate the correct values of fat mass and lean body it is necessary to ensure some conditions, such as:
- Avoid eating, drinking coffee or doing exercise in the 4 hours prior;
- Drink 2 to 4 glasses of water 2 hours before the test.
- Do not ingest alcoholic beverages within the previous 24 hours;
- Do not pass cream on the feet or on the hands.
In addition, using lightweight parts and small, to help make sure that results are the most exact possible.
The whole preparation is very important because, for example, with regard to water, if there is proper hydration, the body has less water for the electrical current precorrer and, therefore, the value of fat mass may be larger than the real one.
Already when there is fluid retention, it is also important to take as soon as possible, and inform the technician, as the excess water in the body can lead to an increase in the amount of lean body mass, which also does not reflect the reality.
Which means the result
In addition to weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), the different values offered by the devices, or scales, bioimpedance are:
1. Fat mass
Ideally, the value of fat mass should be in the range referred to as normal, as when it is above this value means that if you have too much fat accumulated, which increases the risk of several diseases, such as obesity or diabetes.
Already athletes, typically have a value of fat mass lower than normal, see this tablewhich is the fat mass ideal for your height and weight .
2. Lean mass
The value of lean body mass, is usually shown in Kg and indicates the amount of muscle and water in the body, some scales and equipment more modern already make the difference between the two values.
Similar to the fat mass, lean mass, also must be in the range of values defined as normal, however, athletes generally have higher values due to the practice questions that facilitate the construction of muscle. Already people are sedentary or who do not do weight training in the gym, usually display a lower value.
Lean mass is normally used, to evaluate the results of a training plan, for example, since it allows to evaluate if you are gaining muscle with the type of exercise you’re doing.
3. Muscle mass
Normally, the muscle mass should increase along the evaluations of bioimpedance, for the higher the amount of muscle, the greater will be the amount of calories you burn per day, which allows you to eliminate more easily the excess fat from the body and prevent the emergence of various cardiovascular diseases. This information may be given in pounds of muscle or a percentage.
The amount of muscle mass shows only the weight of the muscles within the muscle mass, not counting water and other tissues of the body, for example. In this type of mass, also included are the smooth muscles of some organs, like the stomach or the intestine, as well as the heart muscle.
The reference values for the amount of water in men and women are different and are described below:
- Women:45% to 60%;
- Man:50% to 65%.
This value is very important to know if the body is well hydrated, which ensures the health of the muscles, prevents cramps, ruptures, and injuries, ensuring a progressive improvement in the performance and in the results of the training.
Thus, when the value is lower than the range of reference is advised to increase the intake of water per day, to about 2 liters, so as to avoid getting dehydrated.
5. Bone density
The value of bone density, or weight of bone, should be constant over time to ensure that the bones are healthy and to follow the evolution of the bone density, being therefore very important to assess the benefits of physical activity in the elderly, or people with osteopenia or osteoporosis, for example, a time that the regular practice of physical exercise allows you strengthen the bone and, often, to treat the loss of bone density.
6. Visceral Fat
The visceral fat is the fat that is stored in the abdominal area, around the vital organs, as the heart. The value can vary between 1 and 59, being divided into two groups:
- Healthy:1, 12;
- Harmful:13 to 59.
Although the presence of visceral fat helps protect the organs, excess fat is harmful and can cause several diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and even heart failure.
7 . Basal metabolic rate
The basal metabolism is the amount of calories that the body uses to function, and this number is calculated from the age, sex and physical activity that if you enter in the balance.
Knowing this value is very useful for people who are dieting to know how has to eat less to lose weight or how many calories must be ingested to gain weight.
In addition, the apparatus may also have a metabolic age that represents the age for which the rate of metabolism current is recommended. In this way, the metabolic age should always be less than or equal to current age for that to be a positive result of a healthy person.
To increase the rate of metabolism should increase the amount of lean muscle mass, and this reduces consequently the body fat, because muscle is the tissue active and expends more calories than fat, contributing to the increase in calorie burning from the diet or from stored body fat.
These scales with the passing of time become increasingly cheaper while the price of a balance of bioimpedance is still higher than a conventional balance, it is a very interesting way of keep under surveillance, and the benefits can compensate for the money spent.