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Which sporting event has the most extreme energy expenditure?

in BLOGS/RECOVERY/RUNNING/TRIATHLON/Ultra-marathoning/USA by

Written By Asker Jeukendrup for mysportscience.com
Follow Asker on Twitter @Jeukendrup

It is often said that the Tour de France is perhaps the most gruelling endurance event on the planet. The same is sometimes said about Ironman. We saw in my previous blog that energy expenditure in the Tour de France averages almost 6000 kcal per day for 3 weeks (5).  It has been measured that energy expenditure can be as high as 9000 kcal per day. How does this compare to other sports? Is this really the most extreme sport? Is it Ironman… Or is there another event?

In the literature we can find energy expenditure values for a number of events and I have tried to find the highest values for energy expenditure in the literature. If someone knows of other papers that report extreme values please let me know and I will update this list.

There is a report of a male distance runner covering ∼100 km/day for 1,000 km (1), He averaged around 6,000 kcal/day.

Another report describes 2 elite cyclists averaging around 330 km/day for 10 days and expending 7,000 kcal per day (2)

There is also a report of a team of elite cyclists expending 6,500 kcal/day who covered nearly 4,900 km in 6 days during the Race across America (RAAM) (3).

Similar values were also reported in cross country skiers during intense training (6,000 kcal/day) (6).

Dr Mike Stroud, a Polar explorer and researcher, measured energy expenditure in man-haulers over several polar expeditions during the 1980s and 1990s (7). Before these studies the very high energy costs of polar travel on foot appreciated. During a modern-day, one-way expedition to the South Pole that repeated Scott’s route (“Footsteps of Scott expedition”), an average of 6,000 kcal were expended every 24 h. Mike Stroud himself together with Sir Ranulph Fiennes crossed Antarctica by foot and expended on average nearly 7,000 kcal/day.

During this crossing there was a period of approximately 10 days, while ascending to the plateau, during which they averaged nearly 11,000 kcal/day).

A recent study by Dr Brent Ruby and Colleagues (4) compared measurements at Ironman Hawaii (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26 mile run (3.8km; 180km and 42km respectively) and the Western State 100 (a 100 mile (160km) ultramarathon). Energy expenditure during the Hawaii Ironman averaged 9,040 kcal (plus or minus 1,390 kcal). In the Western State energy expenditure was as high as 16,310 kcal (plus or minus 2,960) but of course the duration of this event was more than 24 hours on average (26.8h).

It is clear that daily energy expenditure can be much higher than the reported average of 6000 kcal per day for the Tour de France cyclist. Values can be even higher than the extreme values reported during the longest and hardest days in the Tour.

What make the Tour de France unique though is that these extreme energy expenditures are achieved within 4-6 hours of racing per day and also that this is sustained over a period of 3 weeks.

Most other sports with extreme energy expenditures achieve their high numbers by exercising more hours per day at a lower intensity and sometimes by eliminating sleep.

Which is the most extreme sport? Difficult to say… would you rather do a day in the Tour than a day crossing Antartica, or running a 100 mile race in the heat without sleeping?

 

References 

1. Eden B, Abernethy P. Nutritional intake during an ultraendurance running race. International J Sports Nutr 4: 166–174, 1994.
2. Gabel K, Aldous A, Edgington C. Dietary intake of two elite male cyclists during 10-day, 2,050-mile ride. Int J Sports Nutr 5: 56–61, 1995.
3. Hulton A, Lahart I, Williams K, Godfrey R, Charlesworth S, Wilson M, Pedlar C, Whyte G. Energy expenditure in the race across america (RAAM). Int J Sports Med 31: 463–467, 2010.
4. Ruby BC, Cuddy JS, Hailes WS, Dumke CL, Slivka DR, Shriver TC, Schoeller DA Extreme endurance and the metabolic range of sustained activity is uniquely available for every human not just the elite few. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 11(1): 1-7, 2015.
5. Saris WH, van Erp-Baart MA, Brouns F, Westerterp KR, ten Hoor F. Study on food intake and energy expenditure during extreme sustained exercise: the Tour de France. Int J Sports Med;10 Suppl 1:S26-31, 1989
6. Sjodin A, Andersson A, Hogberg J, Westerterp KR. Energy balance in cross-country skiers: a study using doubly labeled water. Med Sci Sports Exercise 26: 720–724, 1994.
7. Stroud M, Coward W, Sawyer M. Measurements of energy expenditure using iso- tope-labelled water (2H218O) during an Arctic expedition. Eur J Appl Physiol 67: 375– 379, 1993

Focus on Sleep and Recovery: Road To Kona with Sarah Piampiano

in Uncategorized by

I want to win the Ironman World Championships. That’s what I’ve wanted since the day I started doing this sport. That’s what I work towards every single day.

 

Road To Kona: Nutrition with Sarah Piampiano

in ATHLETES/BLOGS/SOS PRO'S/TRIATHLON by

Follow professional Ironman Triathlete Sarah Piampiano on her journey to Kona.

In this video, Sarah takes us behind the scenes of how she plans and executes her nutrition plan, and explains why it her changes have been so important.

Trust the process… Trust the plan. 

The drinkable IV, SOS Recovery Hydration, has arrived

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

The drinkable IV, SOS Recovery Hydration, has arrived

 

SOS is excited to announce the release of the highly anticipated new addition; the Mango flavoured “Recovery Hydration” formula.

 

Dehydration isn’t just for the sports field, it’s a round the clock issue, and is the number one cause of daytime fatigue. Within sleek metallic black packaging, the new recovery specific hydration is as effective as an IV Drip for combatting mild to moderate dehydration.

 

The new formula is in response to demands from our consumers who want something that can tackle dehydration during the daily grind. Be it recovering from an evenings excess*, to staying hydrated from a long day in the office.

 

SOS Recovery Hydration has been formulated by Co-Founder Blanca Lizaola MD., through applying proven medical and sports science to tackle dehydration fast. Containing the correct balance of electrolytes, no artificial additives and utilising Cane Sugar with only 10 calories per stick, SOS helps you absorb three times more water than water alone.

 

CEO and Co-Founder James Mayo is ecstatic about the long-awaited arrival of the Recovery formula: “over the past four months we identified that our consumers and athletes daily state of dehydration was a key factor in maintaining a fully functioning body. People were hydrating for a workout but did not treat their bodies the same way when out socializing. The key factor was to develop a fruitier product with the same IV capabilities that satisfies people’s demands to work hard and play harder.  We call it “Lifestyle Survival”.

 

About SOS:

 

Founded in 2013, SOS is a doctor formulated hydration drink. SOS is based on the proven science of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Oral Rehydration Guidelines, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine research on dehydration.

New SOS recovery hydration 20ct box
New SOS recovery hydration 20ct box

 

SOS is free of artificial additives, has 3x the electrolytes of the average sports drink with just 1/6 the sugar. When mixed with water an SOS helps the body to absorb 3x more water than from water alone.

 

* SOS does not in any way support or encourage underage, excessive, or irresponsible drinking.

 

James Mayo, CEO & Co-Founder

James is as former professional athlete and Army Veteran.

 

Blanca Lizaola MD, Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

Dr Blanca is a qualified medical doctor with a specialty in Internal Medicine and a passionate focus on GI.

 

Website: www.INEEDSOS.com

Contact: info@sosrehydrate.com

Social Media: @sosrehydrate

#recoveryhydration

 

Knowing your hydration status

in SOS MAGAZINE/Uncategorized by

Knowing your hydration status is key to performing at your peak.

The great news is that it isn’t rocket science.  SOS founder Dr Blanca gives us some top tips

SOS Rehydrate

Knowing your hydration status

There is no rule of thumb when it comes to hydration. Everybody is different and has different needs. Learn to listen to your body.

The best way to assess your hydration status is through your urine.

1 – Understand that when you are hydrated you should be urinating a similar volume to what you are drinking.

2 – Urine color: by urinating light clear urine you will know that you are properly hydrated. Dark, orange and small amount of urine reflects dehydration.

 

Are you a salty sweater?

Not everybody needs to consume the same amount of sodium. There are some signs that can help you realize how much of a sodium sweater are you:

  1. a) Muscle cramps: sodium, chloride and potassium are the main electrolytes involved in muscle contraction. When any of these electrolytes are low or when there is not enough muscle perfusion due to dehydration the muscle contractility process will be impaired.
  2. b) After drying, your clothes will have white lines on your clothes
  3. c) When getting sweat in your eyes they will burn or even your sweat will taste salty

Dehydration affects performance

Next time you need hydrating remember these easy steps and hydrate accordingly.

To learn more about the science of SOS check out our science page www.sosrehydrate.com

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