Low energy availability can place athletes at increased risk of injury and illness and can be detected by a lower metabolic rate. The lowest metabolic rate is captured at the bedside, after an overnight fast and termed inpatient resting energy expenditure (REE). Measurements done in a laboratory with a shorter overnight fast are termed outpatient REE. Although important to know what the lowest energy expenditure, a bedside measure and/or 12-hr fast is not always practical or logistically possible particularly when you take into account an athlete’s training schedule. The aim of this investigation was to compare a bedside measure of resting metabolism with a laboratory measure in athletes following an 8-hr fast. Thirty-two athletes (24 females and eight males) underwent measures of resting metabolism using indirect calorimetry once at their bedside (inpatient) and once in a simulated laboratory setting (outpatient). Paired t test was used to compare the mean ± SD differences between the two protocols. Inpatient REE was 7,302 ± 1,272 kJ/day and outpatient REE was 7,216 ± 1,116 kJ/day (p = .448). Thirteen participants repeated the outpatient protocol and 17 repeated the inpatient protocol to assess the day-to-day variation. Reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient and typical error. The inpatient-protocol variability was 96% with a typical error of 336.2 kJ/day. For the outpatient protocol, the intraclass correlation coefficient and typical error were 87% and 477.6 kJ/day, respectively. Results indicate no difference in REE when measured under inpatient and outpatient conditions; however, the inpatient protocol has greater reliability.
Bone and Burke are with Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia; and Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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