Fat burning strategies

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Matt Lovell

Intuitively, having a low proportion of body fat would seem to be advantageous for athletic endeavour, increasing the efficiency of power transfer from respiring muscle. Reducing surplus weight will increase the resulting speed of movement, (at a given power output), for actions such as throwing, running, hitting or lifting. In addition, adipose tissue is a metabolically active organ that uses the body’s resources and is associated with a number of adverse health outcomes. Considering sports individually, some have an inherent requirement for a low fat mass, such as weight-categorised sports, load-bearing activities, and sports judged on the aesthetics of performance. The act of losing fat, however, represents a delicate balance between providing adequate energy for performance, while maintaining a necessary calorie deficit. Many different areas of metabolism must be considered in order to maximise the use of fat as an energetic substrate to as high a degree as possible, taking into account the energy systems and nutritional requirements specific to an individual athlete.

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