Negative energy balance in male and female rangers: effects of 7 d of sustained exercise and food deprivation

Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 May;83(5):1068-75. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/83.5.1068.

Abstract

Background: A challenging 7-d ranger field exercise (FEX) by cadets in the Norwegian Military Academy provided a venue in which to study the effects of negative energy balance.

Objective: We quantified total energy expenditure (TEE), food intake, and changes in body composition in male and female cadets.

Design: TEE (measured by doubly labeled water), food intake, activity patterns (measured by accelerometry), and body composition (measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were measured in 16 cadets (10 men and 6 women aged 21-27 y).

Results: The physically active (approximately 23 h/d) and semistarved (0.2-2.2 MJ/d) cadets lost weight (x +/- SD: men, -7.7 +/- 1.1 kg; women, -5.9 +/- 1.1 kg; P < 0.05). Absolute TEE differed by sex (men, 26.6 +/- 2.0 MJ/d; women, 21.9 +/- 2.0 MJ/d; P < 0.05) but body weight-specific TEE did not (men, 343 +/- 26 kJ . kg(-1) . d(-1); women, 354 +/- 18 kJ . kg(-1) . d(-1); NS). Fat-free mass (FFM) loss differed significantly by sex (men, -4.0 +/- 1.2 kg; women, -2.5 +/- 1.1 kg; P < 0.05), but percentage FFM loss did not (men, -6.3 +/- 1.9%; women, -5.6 +/- 2.4%). In contrast, absolute FM loss did not differ significantly by sex (men, -3.45 +/- 0.72 kg; women, -3.42 +/- 0.22 kg), but fat oxidation (men, 5.2 +/- 1.0 mg . min(-1) . kg FFM(-1); women, 7.3 +/- 0.5 mg . min(-1) . kg FFM(-1)) and the relative contribution of FM to TEE (men, 74 +/- 14%; women, 89 +/- 6%) were significantly greater in women than in men (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Female cadets maintained a significantly more fat-predominant fuel metabolism than did male cadets in response to sustained exercise and semistarvation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Body Water / physiology
  • Body Weight
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Norway
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen Isotopes
  • Sex Characteristics

Substances

  • Oxygen Isotopes