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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 September;39(3):213-9

language: English

A new pre­dic­tive equa­tion to cal­cu­late rest­ing meta­bol­ic ­rate in ath­letes

De Lorenzo A. 1, 2, Bertini I. 1, Candeloro N. 1, Piccinelli R. 1, Innocente I. 1, Brancati A. 1

1 Human Physiology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy;
2 Scientific Institute “S. Lucia”, Rome, Italy


Background. The pur­pos­es of the ­present ­study ­were: 1) to exam­ine the accu­ra­cy and pre­ci­sion of sev­en pub­lished equa­tions for pre­dict­ing rest­ing meta­bol­ic ­rate (RMR) in ­male ath­letes and 2) to devel­op a pop­u­la­tion-spe­cif­ic equa­tion. Setting: The ­study ­occurred dur­ing a non-inten­sive train­ing peri­od. The meas­ure­ments ­were per­formed at the Human Physiology labor­a­to­ry. Participants: Fifty-one ­male ath­letes (22 water­po­lo, 12 ­judo, 17 ­karatè) who exer­cised reg­u­lar­ly at ­least ­three ­hours per day. Measures: RMR was meas­ured (mRMR) ­using indi­rect cal­o­rim­e­try (ven­ti­lat­ed ­hood ­system). Besides, mRMR was com­pared ­with val­ues pre­dict­ed (pRMR) ­using equa­tions of FAO/WHO/UNU, Harris and Benedict, Mifflin et al., Owen et al., Cunningham, Robertson and Reid, Fleisch. Statistical anal­y­ses. mRMR was com­pared ­with pRMR by ­means of Student’s ­paired “t” ­tests, lin­e­ar regres­sion anal­y­sis and the Bland-Altman ­test. Relationships ­between mRMR and the dif­fer­ent pre­dic­tive var­i­ables ­were eval­u­at­ed by Pearson cor­re­la­tion coef­fi­cients. The ­best sub­set was ­used to devel­op the pre­dic­tive equa­tion for RMR.
Results. mRMR was sig­nif­i­cant­ly under­es­ti­mat­ed by six of the sev­en equa­tions in ­this sam­ple of ath­letes. Only the Cunningham equa­tion over­sti­mat­ed (+59 ­kcal/d) the actu­al RMR. Bland-Altman 95% lim­its of agree­ment ­were ­wide (±200-300 ­kcal/d) for all equa­tions. RMR cor­re­lat­ed ­best ­with ­body sur­face ­area (r=0.88), ­body ­weight (r=0.84) and ­height (r=0.81). The ­best-fit equa­tion for the ­entire ­data includ­ed ­both ­weight and ­height and it was giv­en by: RMR (­kcal/d)=-857+9.0 (Wt in kg)+11.7 (Ht in cm) (R2=0.78; SEE=91 ­kcal/d; 95% IC: -226, 228).
Conclusions. For an indi­vid­u­al rest­ing meta­bol­ic ­rate eval­u­a­tion, the use of indi­rect cal­o­rim­e­try is rec­om­mend­ed. In con­di­tions ­where ­this tech­nique can­not be ­used, our devel­oped equa­tion can pre­dict the RMR of ath­letes bet­ter ­than any of the cur­rent­ly avail­able pre­dic­tion equa­tions.

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