The Difference Between Sprinting, Running And Jogging

Sprinting Vs Running

Sprinting, running and jogging are vigorous-intensity exercises. The difference lies in speed while they all use the same muscle groups.

Sprinting, running and jogging offer a wide range of health benefits. (1) Every cardiovascular activity can help you lose weight, improve your cardiac health and increase your mood.(2)

What’s The Difference Between Sprinting, Running and Jogging?


Sprinting involves running a rate for a short distance as quickly as possible. Usually, most sprinters train by running for stretches of 100-to 200 meters.

These athletes have like a bodybuilder’s chiselled, highly muscular physics. Sprinting is an anaerobic activity that involves short, intense exercise bursts followed by periods of rest.


Running is a type of cardiovascular exercise performed to be considered aerobic for at least 10 minutes, using oxygen mainly to fuel your muscle cells.

Although there is no speed determined to classify a run, you typically run at a pace that makes you breathe heavier and break a sweat.

Popular running races include the 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon during the competition.


Jogging is an aerobic activity of low intensity and long duration. This is a steady-state exercise, which means that throughout the use the rate of intensity remains the same.

Joggers put less stress on their bodies and can exercise compared to sprinters for more extended periods.

Harvard Medical School notes that a 5 mph 185-pound jogger can burn up to 355 calories in 30 minutes, doing a calorie-burning exercise that can help shed fat.

Sprinting Vs Running Vs Jogging: Which is better?

If you’re struggling to choose between the three, consider your goal first (losing weight, muscle development, stress reduction, etc.) before making your choice.

Which Burns Fat Better?

Sprinting Burns More Fat

Sprinting is a form of anaerobic exercise as a high-intensity exercise, meaning that the body does not depend on oxygen to fuel your workout, but on the fat in your muscles and the glycogen stored — a type of glucose that your body stores as an energy reserve.

Therefore, during and even after an anaerobic exercise, more calories are efficiently burned in the muscles, which leads directly to weight loss. It also helps to improve athletes ‘ endurance and fitness. (3)

In fact, with sprint interval training (SIT), you can burn as many as 200 calories in as little as 2.5 minutes, where you perform a short high-intensity running session and then recover with easy exercises for a more extended period.

On the other hand, jogging and running is an aerobic exercise and relies on oxygen to fuel your workout without extracting the body’s extra energy. You’re burning fewer calories, of course.

And Burns It Faster

With less training time compared to running and jogging, sprinting helps you lose fat at a faster rate.

Studies say that people who engage in anaerobic high-intensity interval programs— including a high-intensity exercise followed by a low-intensity exercise — can lose more fat in 20 minutes (three days a week) than those who choose 40 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. (4)

If you don’t have time to lose kilos or inches, high-intensity sprinting, and more specifically, sprint interval training (SIT) will be your best bet instead of jogging.

High-Intensity Sprinting Continues to Burn Calories After Exercise

Doing any workout will help you lose weight. Still, even when you finish working out, only a few forms of exercise will continue to burn calories.

High-intensity running forms will continue to burn calories up to 48 hours after you work out (19), such as hill repeats and interval runs.

Such exercises use multiple muscles and require more energy to heal afterward. We in the fitness community call this the “afterburn effect.”

Several studies have shown that you could burn substantially more calories over time with the “afterburn effect” (20, 21).

In one study, ten men cycled at an intense speed for 45 minutes to measure how many calories they burned after the exercise and for how long.

During their workout, the average person burned 519 calories and an additional 190 calories over the 14 hours following the workout (21).

Although the example above uses cycling as an example, the “afterburn effect” also refers to running at high intensity. In a standardized laboratory sample, cycling is simply a simple way to quantify calories burned.

High-Intensity Sprinting Suppresses Appetite and Helps You Eat Less

By consuming less food or modifying their food, many individuals aim to minimize their calorie intake.

Unfortunately, often these techniques will only raise appetite and make losing weight a challenge.

Several studies have shown that running with high intensity can battle this battle by lowering your appetite after a workout (22, 23).

The specific mechanisms surrounding this reaction are unknown. Still, high-intensity running can reduce appetite by suppressing the ghrelin hunger hormone levels and releasing more hormones such as peptide YY (PYY).

A study of 11 men showed that, relative to no exercise, running for 60 minutes or strength training for 90 minutes decreased ghrelin levels. Increased PYY output only runs (22).

Researchers contrasted the impact of 60 minutes of running and no exercise on ghrelin development in another study of nine men. They found that running lowered ghrelin levels for three to nine hours (23).

Moderate-to-High Intensity Running Targets Harmful Belly Fat

It is terrible for your wellbeing to bear extra belly fat.

A correlation between belly fat and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other diseases has been shown in many studies (24, 25).

Studies have found that, even without modifying your diet, moderate-to-high aerobic exercise such as running can minimize belly fat (26, 27, 28).

A study of 15 studies and 852 participants showed that, without any dietary modifications, aerobic exercise decreased belly fat. However, training at moderate to high intensity effectively reduced belly fat (28).

Another study of 27 middle-aged women showed that, relative to low-intensity walking / running or no exercise (29), high-intensity running substantially decreased belly fat.

Finally, a study of 45 fit yet inactive women showed that, compared to steady-paced exercise or no exercise (30), high-intensity interval exercise three days a week substantially decreased body fat and belly fat.

Do They Aid In Muscle Growth?

It doesn’t mean muscle loss when we say weight loss. In fact, high-intensity workouts such as sprinting help you build lean muscle mass (fatless) and develop powerful muscles.

A study found that people who participated in regular aerobic exercise showed little or no muscle mass gain, while people who exercised hard resistance over months showed significant muscle mass gain.

An anaerobic exercise such as sprinting also causes your body to release more growth hormone, which is essential for fat burning, tissue restoration and muscle building. (5)

Another study found that the anabolic effect was much more pronounced in women than in men (6) great news if you are a woman because “tone-up” your lower body (tone-up is key word for reduced fat and more muscular definition) will significantly increase your sex appeal and sprinting will do just that for you.

The front thigh muscles (quadriceps), back thigh (hamstring), hips (glutes and iliopsoas) and calves undergo a continuous cycle of rapid contractions when you are sprinting.

This places repeated stress on the tissues and causes trauma. This trauma, in turn, triggers the muscle-repair system of the body, which increases the muscles.

While you’re also jogging, these same muscles are involved, but the effect may not be as pronounced.

Of course, other factors such as your age and sex also influence the amount of muscle development.

How Your Body Builds Muscle

As muscle protein synthesis (MPS) exceeds muscle protein breakdown (MPB) (17), muscle building occurs.

Protein is an essential muscle component that can be added or removed depending on factors such as diet and exercise (18).

MPS is the process of adding bricks to a wall when you think of protein as individual bricks, while MPB is the process of taking them out.

The wall grows bigger if you lay more bricks than you take away, but if you take more away than you lay down, the wall shrinks.

In other words, the body must make more protein than it eliminates to construct muscle.

A critical trigger for MPS is exercise, primarily weight lifting. The increase in MPS is more significant, leading to net muscle benefit (17, 19), while exercise often induces MPB.

Proper Nutrition for Running, Sprinting and Jogging

For muscle building, good nutrition is just as important as running itself. Your body can’t support the muscle-building process without adequate nutrients, especially protein.


Protein strengthens it further, encouraging higher muscle gains (38, 39), while exercise activates MPS.

For this reason, numerous individuals drink a protein shake at either end of their workouts.

Experts recommend eating 0.64–0.91 grammes of protein per pound (1.4–2 grammes per kg) of body weight daily to build muscle. 

For a 150-pound (68.2-kg) male, this equals 96–137 grammes of protein (40, 41).

Meat, poultry, dairy, fish, eggs, soy, beans, and legumes are decent protein sources.

Carbs and Fats

Carbs, especially for anaerobic exercises like sprinting, are the preferred energy source for your body.

Anaerobic exercise efficiency (42) is affected by diets low in carbs and high in fats, such as the ketogenic diet.

During lower intensity exercise, such as long-distance running (43), fat appears to be an energy source.

The goal is to get 45-65 percent of your calories from carbs and 20-35 percent from fat to improve your workouts and ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake (44).

Fruit, whole grains, starchy vegetables, dairy products, and beans are safe sources of carbohydrates. In contrast, fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, whole eggs, seeds, avocados, nuts, and nut butter are good fat sources.


Water helps to regulate the temperature of the body and other bodily functions.

Your personal water needs rely on many variables, including age, size of the body, diet, and activity level.

Similarly, it is usually recommended by the National Academy of Medicine that men and women get 125 ounces (3.7 litres) and 91 ounces (2.7 litres) each day, respectively (45).

For adults aged 19 and over, these recommendations require water from all foods and drinks.

When thirsty and during and after exercise (46), most people will remain hydrated by maintaining a balanced diet and drinking water.

Which Destroys Stress Better?

Sprinting Fights The Effects Of The Stress Hormone Better

Your body releases the hormone cortisol when you’re under stress. You could say that your body’s cortisol level is an indicator of your stress level.

During or shortly after any exercise, especially during high-intensity exercises, your cortisol levels remain high. (7)

This would indicate that, because it produces less cortisol, jogging is better than running and sprinting.

But while intensive training such as sprinting increases cortisol levels, it also increases hormone production such as growth hormone and testosterone that counteracts the adverse effects of cortisol, i.e. muscle breakdown and fat storage.(8 9 )

The reason is sprinting raises the testosterone/cortisol ratio, which means testosterone has a more pronounced body-building effect than cortisol’s muscle-wasting effect. (10)

And It Releases Happiness Hormones Faster

A high-intensity anaerobic exercise like sprinting causes your body to release endorphins often referred to as happiness hormones, which raise your mood and give you a sense of relaxation.

Jogging also releases these, but producing this effect takes longer. (11 12)

This is because the changes in blood hormone levels rely more on the exercise intensity than the entire length of the exercise. (13)

You now know why doctors recommend running for anxious and depressed patients.

Running Has Many Other Benefits for Health

Running has been related to several other health benefits, apart from weight loss.

A few particular health conditions that running can help avoid or relieve include:

Heart disease: A 15-year study of over 50,000 participants found that, even at low speeds, running at least five to ten minutes a day decreased the risk of heart disease by up to 45% (31).

Blood sugar: By making muscle cells more responsive to insulin, running can reduce blood sugar. This allows sugar to transfer for storage into muscle cells (32, 33).

Cataracts: One study showed moderate-paced walking and intense running both decreased cataract risk, resulting in a lower risk directly from further exercise (34).

Falls: Running could decrease the risk among the elderly of falling. Research suggests that since their leg muscles are more receptive (35), elderly participants who run are less likely to fall.

Knee damage: A common misconception is that your knees are bad for running. This misconception was debunked by a review of 28 studies, which found powerful evidence that connects physical activity with stronger knee tissue and healthier knees (36).

Knee pain: Running can help reduce pain in the knee as well. A survey of participants with an average age of 64 years showed no knee pain or arthritis was associated with running. Participants who ran more had less knee pain (37).

Which Improves Metabolism Best?

Any correctly performed exercise would enhance your metabolism. The question is: how quickly?

For even 3 minutes, a high-intensity workout works well on your metabolism. And such intense sessions every two days can reduce your risk of diabetes by increasing your body’s insulin sensitivity and faster blood clearing of glucose. (14)

Also, sprint interval training even when your body is at rest increases fat burning and burns carbohydrates when the body is fasting.

It even decreases the arteries ‘ blood pressure. (15) Sprinting is a clear winner in this regard.

Sprinting, running Or Jogging: Which Should You Choose?

Although you know sprinting is better than the three, sprinting is not recommended for everyone. Sprinting can result in further damage if you have an existing heart condition, high blood pressure, or breathing problems.

In such cases, it is always safer to consult a healthcare professional before starting any exhausting activity like sprinting or jogging.

Although high-intensity sprints are now useful, they can increase your chances of osteoarthritis in the longer term (16) Or other harmful bone conditions, especially if you’re a woman, because your hormones make you susceptible to osteoporosis. The key is to get the right nutrition to prevent the depletion of your bone density.

Over three days a week, you shouldn’t sprint. This is a high-impact exercise, and a lot of strength must be sustained by your body. You need rest and time to repair your muscles. There is no such restriction on jogging, though. Every time, anywhere, you can break into a jog.

The easiest and most effective way to ensure that your workout plan is smart is to put it into the hands of a trusted Personal Trainer or In home Personal Trainer.

Call or email today to get started on an ingenious exercise plan that will transform your body in ways that you’ve only dreamed of.

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