Energy expenditure in a Syme’s amputee triathlete
Energy expenditure prediction equations developed for able-bodied populations may be inaccurate for para-athletes, a population characterized by different types of impairments. Sufficient data do not exist currently to generate or validate energy expenditure predictive equations for para-athletes to establish dietary recommendations to cover the demands of sport. The purpose of this observational study was to assess energy expenditure and substrate usage from a trained para-athlete at rest and while performing the athlete’s specific mode of exercise. One para-athlete recruited from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (female; age 32) participated in the study. The participant was a left leg Syme’s amputee triathlete. Resting metabolic rate was measured for the triathlete. Energy expenditure was also measured at moderate (64-76% of age-predicted HRmax) and vigorous intensity exercise (77-95% of age-predicted HRmax) on a stationary cycle ergometer on a separate day. The triathlete’s energy expenditure during exercise was higher than that predicted by the metabolic equivalent of task (MET) matched by exercise type at a moderate (measured: 7.0 kcal/min, predicted: 5.0 kcal/min) and vigorous intensity (measured: 9.3 kcal/min, predicted: 7.0 kcal/min). The Revised Harris-Benedict and the Mifflin-St Jeor equations underestimated resting metabolic rate in the triathlete (measured: 2,194 kcal/day, predicted: 1,348 ± 39 kcal/day). This study indicates that equations developed for able-bodied populations underestimate energy expenditure in a Syme’s amputee when compared to the measured energy expenditure values assessed by indirect calorimetry at rest and during a workout on both a stationary cycle ergometer and while running on the track.
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