Energy expenditure during 2 wk of an ultra-endurance run around Australia

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For ultra-endurance athletes, whose energy expenditure is likely to be at the extremes of human tolerance for sustained periods of time, there is increased concern regarding meeting energy needs. Due to the lack of data outlining the energy requirements of such athletes, it is possible that those participating in ultra-endurance exercise are compromising performance, as well as health, as a result of inadequate nutrition and energy intake. To provide insight into this dilemma, we have presented a case study of a 37-yr-old ultra-marathon runner as he runs around the coast of Australia.


Total energy expenditure was measured over a 2-wk period using the doubly labeled water technique.


The average total energy expenditure of the case subject was 6321 kcal·d-1. Based on the expected accuracy and precision of the doubly labeled water technique the subject’s total energy expenditure might range between 6095 and 6550 kcal·d-1. The subject’s average daily water turnover was 6.083 L over the 14-d period and might range between 5.9 L and 6.3 L·d-1.


This information will provide a guide to the energy requirements of ultra-endurance running and enable athletes, nutritionists, and coaches to optimize performance without compromising the health of the participant.

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