Energy balance in endurance-trained female cyclists and untrained controls

Academic Article


  • Reports of low energy intakes in trained female athletes imply they have an increased energetic efficiency. To address this question, we determined how energy balance was achieved in endurance-trained females cyclists and lean controls (n = 5 in each group). Daily energy expenditure was measured by using standardized physical activity protocols in a whole room calorimeter on two separate occasions: a cycling day and a noncycling day. Energy intake for weight maintenance was determined by a period of controlled feeding 5 days before and the day of each energy expenditure measurement. Energy balance was achieved in the cyclists on the cycling day while they consumed 2,900-3,000 kcal (their usual condition) and in controls on the noncycling day while they consumed 2,100-2,200 kcal (their usual condition). Total daily energy expenditure was not significantly different between the cyclists and controls on the noncycling day with both groups performing similar levels of activity. On the cycling day, daily energy expenditure was significantly greater in the cyclists vs. controls (P < 0.03) as a result of their greater amount of cycling activity. Components of daily energy expenditure, i.e., resting metabolic rate and thermic effect of food and activity (noncycling), were not significantly different between groups. Overall, we found no significant increase in the energetic efficiency of endurance-trained female cyclists compared with controls.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Horton TJ; Drougas HJ; Sharp TA; Martinez LR; Reed GW; Hill JO
  • Start Page

  • 1937
  • End Page

  • 1945
  • Volume

  • 76
  • Issue

  • 5