Determination of an optimum intensity for maximum fat utilisation
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine an optimum exercise intensity for maximum fat utilisation, which includes a 15-minute exercise bout plus the 6-minute immediate post-exercise period. Method: 8 endurance trained men aged 36-47 years old were tested. Participants attended 2 laboratory sessions. The first laboratory session involved a graded exercise test to exhaustion to determine VO2max. The second laboratory session involved cycling at 50% VO2max, 65% VO2max and 80% VO2max each for 15 minutes followed by a 6-minute immediate recovery period in which participants remained seated on the cycle ergometer. Expired air was collected during both exercise and recovery and this air was analysed to determine VO2, VCO2 and RER. Calculations were conducted to determine total energy expenditure (EE), energy derived from fat (kJ) and the percentage of energy derived from fat. One-way repeated measures ANOVAs were used to determine significant differences in the energy derived from fat (kJ) and the percentage of energy derived from fat during exercise and recovery combined between each relative exercise intensity. Results: EE increased with exercise intensity. The mean percentage of energy derived from fat during exercise and recovery combined, decreased with increasing exercise intensity but this was not significant (p>0.05). The mean energy derived from fat (kJ) during exercise and recovery combined, increased with exercise intensity but this was not significant (p>0.05). Conclusion: The general trends found in this present study boldly contradict previous findings and suggest a new direction to consider when implementing interventions to increase fat utilisation. The optimum intensity at which maximum fat utilisation occurred during the exercise and recovery period combined was at 80% VO2max, but this was not significantly greater than the other exercise intensities.
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