Energy Consumption During Physical Activity

energy consumption

‘Burning calories’ is a very common phrase in the health and fitness industry. It carries a lot of weight to those who are exercising with a goal of losing weight. It also means a lot to those interested in measuring how much they have been working out by using numbers. A calorie can be defined as a unit of energy. For effective management of body weight, it is crucial to monitor the calories that go into the body as food and those that are expended through physical activity. When you eat food that contains, say 50 calories, the energy is used either to maintain bodily functions, or burnt through workouts, or stored for later use. When there is too much energy stored, weight gain is the result.

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Below are some important things worth knowing with regards to the caloric cost of physical activity.

Energy consumption:

Energy consumption takes place through the micronutrients of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Protein is mainly used for the repair of broken tissues and building new ones. In addition, It can be broken down to produce energy if need be. For each gram of protein and carbohydrates, your body gains about 4 calories. However, for each gram of fat, about 9 calories are generated.

Conversion Of Food Types Into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) To Provide Energy:

In order for carbohydrates, fats, and in some cases, protein, to be used to produce energy for muscle functions, they must first be converted to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Muscles store very little ATP. When ATP is consumed in the muscle, some more is generated through metabolism, which is either aerobic or anaerobic. Breakdown of protein to produce energy (gluconeogenesis) is disadvantageous as it leaves the body with little reserves for repair of tissue destroyed during workouts.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE):

The amount of energy that the body consumes every day is referred to as the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). It is determined by the following:

1. The Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF) –

This is the amount of energy that is used to produce energy. It accounts for about 10% of TDEE.

2. The Thermic Effect Of Physical Activity (TEPA) –

This is the amount of energy used in all physical activity, including daily actions such as arising from a seat, doing High Interval Intensity Training (HIIT), and all other activities. It takes about 15% to 30% of TDEE.

3. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) –

This is the least amount of energy the body requires to maintain the physiological functions. It is the energy needed while the body is at rest or idle to keep such body functions as breathing, blood circulation, and others going on. RMR takes about 60% to 75% of TDEE and is determined by a person’s quantity of lean muscle mass, sex, age, and environmental factors such as climate.

The Things That Make Up Thermic Effect Of Physical Activity (TEPA) –

It is comprised of exercise (particularly intended physical activity) and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is made up of the energy cost of daily usual activities such as taking the dog for a walk, washing the floors, going up the stairs, and others. Some extra amount of calories, approximately 300 calories (equivalent to calories burnt in a 3-mile run), can be burnt daily by increasing the amount of NEAT.


By understanding the above concepts, you can keep healthy, fit, and manage weight issues easily.

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