We know the limits of human endurance - The360 Healthy

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  • Thursday, November 28, 2019

    We know the limits of human endurance

    We know the limits of human endurance

    Researchers have managed to measure the limit of human endurance in terms of metabolism. Their study also reveals that pregnant women are somehow "specialists" in metabolic endurance.


    How far can man go in terms of energy expenditure during sports events? To find out, scientists have analyzed several sporting events, including the Tour de France and the Race Across USA marathon, which crosses the United States from West to East.

    During this race, the athletes traveled more than 4,950 km (3,080 miles) in 140 days. The participants, who ran the equivalent of six marathons a week, conducted series of exams and tests to assess their metabolism at rest and during the race. Scientists then observed that energy consumption tended to increase, but eventually stabilized around 2.5 times the resting metabolism, or 4,000 calories per day.

    Published in the journal Science Advances, the study also resulted in a graph between the duration of a sporting event and energy expenditure: the longer the event, the more difficult it is for the body to burn a lot. calories. If it is possible to go well beyond 2.5 times its resting metabolism during intense physical activity, this is not viable in the long term. The body always settles down to 2.5 times the resting metabolism.

    The marathon runners (only one) thus used 15.6 times their resting metabolic rate, the cyclists during the 23 days of the Tour de France used 4.9 times their resting metabolic rate, while a trekker from the 95-day Arctic Trekking used 3.5 times his resting metabolic rate. But when these activities are spread over hundreds of days, the body ends up returning to 2.5 times the metabolism at rest, otherwise it is not sustainable for the body.

    The study also indicates that pregnancy is also an endurance test in itself, since the energy consumption of pregnant women reaches 2.2 times their resting metabolic rate, almost as much as the limit of human endurance over a long period of time.

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