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One calorie burned = how many calories used?

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One calorie burned = how many calories used?

Old 05-18-12, 11:41 AM
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One calorie burned = how many calories used?

I've been thinking about the total calories that are used on a ride. My rides still push me to where I need recovery and am not to the point where I can do them everyday. I could take it easier but that's no fun. I'm sure in a month or so I could do it the way I "enjoy" but not now.

With that in mind... if I ride one hour (for easy math) and I push hard... to the point that I need to lay in the yard when I am done (pretend with me for a bit) because I can't stand up for a few minutes.. I have burned x amount of calories performing the ride. Pretend it is 500 calories (more easy math).

How many calories are burned to recover from the ride? Recovery isn't free, there is a cost to the body in all that it has to do in order to get back to "normal" state.

Thoughts? Ever consider this?
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Old 05-18-12, 12:06 PM
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It is probably true that your metabolic rate remains at a heightened level for some time after you finish the workout. If I were you I wouldn't count on it amounting to a great many calories, though. Personally I burn about 80kcal per hour just staying alive. I'd be surprised if that rose by more than about 10% - 20% in the hour after getting off the bike, but I'm just guessing, really.

Incidentally, if calorie-burning is your aim you'd be better off riding at a pace that allows you to recover and do the same again the following day. Two 400kcal rides are better than one 600, just to state the obvious...
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Old 05-18-12, 01:07 PM
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Time is more important than effort if your main goal is to burn calories. Staying with the easy math theme, an easy two-hour ride will burn more energy than an all-out one-hour ride. Also, as chasm says, going two days in a row will use more energy than every other day.

Also, you should be able to have fun on the bike even if you aren't putting in a full effort.
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Old 05-18-12, 01:34 PM
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My doctor says that exercising in the morning is better because it raises your metabolism all day long and burns more calories than you otherwise would have, even if you sit around all day long.
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Old 05-18-12, 02:06 PM
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I would rather ride longer and more at ease then shorter and harder. No recovery time and I can ride the next morning.
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Old 05-18-12, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
I've been thinking about the total calories that are used on a ride. My rides still push me to where I need recovery and am not to the point where I can do them everyday. I could take it easier but that's no fun. I'm sure in a month or so I could do it the way I "enjoy" but not now.

With that in mind... if I ride one hour (for easy math) and I push hard... to the point that I need to lay in the yard when I am done (pretend with me for a bit) because I can't stand up for a few minutes.. I have burned x amount of calories performing the ride. Pretend it is 500 calories (more easy math).

How many calories are burned to recover from the ride? Recovery isn't free, there is a cost to the body in all that it has to do in order to get back to "normal" state.
It depends on intensity. More intensity produces a bigger longer lasting increase in metabolic rate.

Thoughts? Ever consider this?
It's a research subject for a bunch of scientists.

These scientists put ten men aged 22-33 in a metabolic chamber and had them cycle for 45 minutes averaging 72.8% of VO2max with one standard deviation of 5.8%

I'm not quite sure what to make of that since the fraction of VO2max would suggest close to threshold power (the best a motivated person might do on a one-hour time trial) although the calorie numbers suggest 170 - 220 Watts which isn't much for a trained cyclist.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21311363

RESULTS:

The 45-min exercise bout resulted in a net energy expenditure of 519 ± 60.9 kcal (P < 0.001). For 14 h after exercise, energy expenditure was increased 190 ± 71.4 kcal compared with the rest day (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS:

In young male subjects, vigorous exercise for 45 min resulted in a significant elevation in postexercise energy expenditure that persisted for 14 h. The 190 kcal expended after exercise above resting levels represented an additional 37% to the net energy expended during the 45-min cycling bout. The magnitude and duration of increased energy expenditure after a 45-min bout of vigorous exercise may have implications for weight loss and management.

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Old 05-18-12, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Time is more important than effort if your main goal is to burn calories. Staying with the easy math theme, an easy two-hour ride will burn more energy than an all-out one-hour ride. Also, as chasm says, going two days in a row will use more energy than every other day.

Also, you should be able to have fun on the bike even if you aren't putting in a full effort.
It depends on how you define "easy". A two hour ride at a recovery pace will not burn more calories than one hour at a time trial place even without the metabolic boost provided by the hard ride. With that taken into account one hour all-out matches two hours at a fast endurance pace. With enough fitness you can do that two days a week and ride another 3 or 4 days a week at lesser intensity.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 05-18-12 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 05-18-12, 06:11 PM
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Drew is correct from my reading. If you are exercising to failure, you will have a longer elevated hr than simply exercising to say 70 percent for longer.

Of course this is contrary to building endurance, so not trying to confuse the two.
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Old 05-18-12, 06:11 PM
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Yea, but there is no fun in riding if a nap or an earlier bedtime isn't needed.

I just alternate hard and flat rides. My legs are really sore as today was flats and then my wife had a request for some extra excercise time.
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Old 05-18-12, 09:30 PM
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All interesting stuff. However I'm not wondering about the rise in metabolism but how many calories the body takes to repair itself after a ride. Another example is if you cut yourself in the thigh enough to need stitches. The body has to work a bit to heal itself. Not many calories a day but ... something .... right? So if you really push yourself on a ride your body has to do "work" to get back to normal. Again maybe not much and certainly not enough to make any real difference but it has to take what you drink and eat and re-hydrate... repair or build new muscle, replenish the easily available energy in your system, and on and on.

Just wondering how many calories the body needs to do that. All variables considered, or as much as we can.
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Old 05-19-12, 07:04 AM
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I believe the rise in metabolism IS what the body is using to "repair" itself. We are saying the same thing.
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Old 05-19-12, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
It is probably true that your metabolic rate remains at a heightened level for some time after you finish the workout. If I were you I wouldn't count on it amounting to a great many calories, though. Personally I burn about 80kcal per hour just staying alive. I'd be surprised if that rose by more than about 10% - 20% in the hour after getting off the bike, but I'm just guessing, really.

Incidentally, if calorie-burning is your aim you'd be better off riding at a pace that allows you to recover and do the same again the following day. Two 400kcal rides are better than one 600, just to state the obvious...
Agreed. However unless I am just out with the family I enjoy going harder. My recovery is getting better so soon I'll be able to go a few days in a row. Given my schedule I can't go every day anyway so if I destroy myself two days in a row (or however many) I'll have to stay off the bike soon after and recover.
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Old 05-19-12, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Time is more important than effort if your main goal is to burn calories. Staying with the easy math theme, an easy two-hour ride will burn more energy than an all-out one-hour ride. Also, as chasm says, going two days in a row will use more energy than every other day.

Also, you should be able to have fun on the bike even if you aren't putting in a full effort.
I do a few of those as well. Night rides on the trail usually. I will say that if I know that I'm biking into to work the next day and I'm coming FROM work today, I will not totally destroy myself. But in general I do like to push hard.
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Old 05-19-12, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir
My doctor says that exercising in the morning is better because it raises your metabolism all day long and burns more calories than you otherwise would have, even if you sit around all day long.
I've heard that many times before but I didn't know if modern science still agreed. What I do know is that if I hit it in the morning before I eat the body gets energy from different places than in the afternoon or evening.
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Old 05-19-12, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac
I would rather ride longer and more at ease then shorter and harder. No recovery time and I can ride the next morning.
A few years from now I can do that. My schedule does not currently allow so I like to get everything out of the ride I'm on. However if I KNOW I'm riding the next day I'll leave a bit in the tank.
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Old 05-19-12, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid
I believe the rise in metabolism IS what the body is using to "repair" itself. We are saying the same thing.
Maybe, and I can kind of see that. The body is working to repair, replenish, etc. and it needs to burn calories to do so. Could be.
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