Athletes: How Many Calories Do You Really Need?

Exactly, how many calories do you need to maximize your athletic performance?  While my calculations can get you fairly close to the target, a trip to the Human Performance Lab at the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids will hit the bulls-eye.   If you are gearing up for any of our local 53 River Bank Run, Triple Crown, triathlon or cycling events, you may want to schedule a Spring tune-up with the lab’s director Gary Strehlke.

Don’t worry about having to give up vials of blood or strip down to a white hospital gown that hangs open in the back.  Just throw on your favorite workout clothes and lace up your track shoes.  Gary will have you breathe into a mask specifically designed to measure your resting energy expenditure (REE).  REE is the amount of calories you need to breathe, sleep, digest and carry on basic life functions.  This test is the “gold standard”, science based method, used by elite and olympic athletes for measuring calorie needs.  Your  oxygen consumption (VO2and carbon dioxide production (VCO2), gas concentrations and volumes, are measured when you breathe inside the mask. The test lasts approximately 10-15 minutes and by the end you will know exactly how many calories you need, precisely matched to meet your training needs.  Plan to spend an hour at the lab during your initial visit.

Who is Gary?  Gary got his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science and is a year away from obtaining his Master’s degree in Human Movement.  He is certified with the National Strength Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Gary’s lab can also help you maximize your exercise efficiency customized to your sport, identify the correct intensity and duration for your workout, avoid over-training and take your performance to the next level.  Enjoy your visit.  Want more information? Contact the Human Performance Lab at 616-855-9567.

Categories: Sports Nutrition

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