Calculating metabolic energy expenditure across a wide range of exercise intensities: the equation matters

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Jun;43(6):639-642. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0781. Epub 2018 Feb 5.


We compared 10 published equations for calculating energy expenditure from oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production using data for 10 high-caliber male distance runners over a wide range of running velocities. We found up to a 5.2% difference in calculated metabolic rate between 2 widely used equations. We urge our fellow researchers abandon out-of-date equations with published acknowledgments of errors or inappropriate biochemical/physical assumptions.

Keywords: analyse des gaz expirés; calorimétrie indirecte; expired gas analysis; indirect calorimetry; metabolic rate; ratio d’échanges gazeux; respiratory exchange ratio; running economy; taux métabolique; économie de la course.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Running*
  • Time Factors