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J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jul;32(7):1875-1881. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002111.

Accuracy of Resting Metabolic Rate Prediction Equations in Athletes.

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Department of Exercise Science, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri.
Exercise & Sport Science Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Onalaska, Wisconsin.
Division of Health and Human Performance, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Kinesiology Department, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.


Jagim, AR, Camic, CL, Kisiolek, J, Luedke, J, Erickson, J, Jones, MT, and Oliver, JM. Accuracy of resting metabolic rate prediction equations in athletes. J Strength Cond Res 32(7): 1875-1881, 2018-The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of 5 different resting metabolic rate (RMR) prediction equations in male and female athletes. Twenty-two female (19.7 ± 1.4 years; 166.2 ± 5.5 cm; 63.5 ± 7.3 kg; 49.2 ± 4.3 kg of fat-free mass (FFM); 23.4 ± 4.4 body fat (BF) percent) and 28 male (20.2 ± 1.6 years; 181.9 ± 6.1 cm; 94.5 ± 16.2 kg; 79.1 ± 7.2 kg of FFM; 15.1 ± 8.5% BF) athletes were recruited to participate in 1 day of metabolic testing. Assessments comprised RMR measurements using indirect calorimetry, and body composition analyses using air displacement plethysmography. One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance with follow-up paired t tests were selected to determine differences between indirect calorimetry and 5 RMR prediction equations. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the accuracy of each RMR prediction method. An alpha level of p ≤ 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance. All the prediction equations significantly underestimated RMR while the Cunningham equation had the smallest mean difference (-165 kcals). In men, the Harris-Benedict equation was found to be the best prediction formula with the lowest root-mean-square prediction error value of 284 kcals. In women, the Cunningham equation was found to be the best prediction equation with the lowest root-mean-squared error value of 110 kcals. Resting metabolic rate prediction equations consistently seem to underestimate RMR in male and female athletes. The Harris-Benedict equation seems to be most accurate for male athletes, whereas the Cunningham equation may be better suited for female athletes.

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