What is Metabolic Efficiency Testing?

metabolic efficiency training Apr 01, 2024
In the mid-2000s, I created the Metabolic Efficiency Training concept. Shortly thereafter, I created the physiological test to measure metabolic efficiency. You may have recently heard it referred to by others as a “substrate oxidation” test or a “fatmax” test. Regardless, it is the same concept BUT usually with different results. It’s all about the data interpretation and what you do with the data. 
A metabolic efficiency (ME) test actually has many amazing purposes but contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a VO2max test nor is it a test that you have done to receive your training zones.
A ME test is a sub-maximal nutrition performance test that begins at very low exercise intensities because one of the purposes of it is to identify if you have a metabolic efficiency point (MEP). This is the point at which your body “crosses” in carbohydrate and fat oxidation. Why does this matter? Well, knowing if you have a MEP or not helps the professional create a custom daily nutrition plan for you. In my two decades of doing ME tests, I would say that about 30-40% of individuals have a MEP and the rest do not. What gives?
If you do not have a MEP, that means your body is very inefficient at burning fat. In fact, it stores more fat and efficiently burns carbohydrates. For most of us, that’s not the best scenario. Here’s the thing though, based on this one simple data set of determining if you have a MEP or not, you will know whether you need a complete daily nutrition OVERHAUL or just a few nutrition tweaks. Again, this is the most valuable piece of data from the test because it allows you to change your daily nutrition plan to support better health, longevity and athletic performance.
Now, that’s not the only important piece of data from the test. The next is determining how many calories you burn per hour per intensity stage (as measured by heart rate and power or pace/speed). This may not seem like a big deal but if you don’t know how many calories you burn per hour of a certain exercise intensity, then you will not know how many calories you need to eat during training. 
So you will know your hourly calorie burn rate but how is that extrapolated into how many calories you should eat per hour? When creating the metabolic efficiency training concept, I polled hundreds of athletes and asked them for their energy expenditures and energy intake during different types of training sessions. From the compilation of this data, I created the “10-40% calorie intake range”. What this means is that you can safely consume and digest 10-40% of the calories you burn. So, knowing how many calories your individual body burns per hour is crucial in knowing how many calories you should eat per hour during training.
So far, we have three important purposes of a ME test:
1. Determine if you have a metabolic efficiency point (and where it happens) in order to DETERMINE THE BEST DAILY NUTRITION PLAN TO SUPPORT YOUR HEALTH, LONGEVITY AND PERFORMANCE GOALS.
2. Learn how many calories your body burns per hour of differing exercise intensities SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO RELY ON SPORTS NUTRITION EQUATIONS THAT ARE POPULATION BASED.
3. Know EXACTLY how many calories your body needs per hour of exercise SO YOU STOP GUESSING AND FINALLY PROVIDE WHAT YOUR INDIVIDUAL BODY NEEDS.
Oh, and did I mention that a ME test is a sub-maximal test that rarely requires you to ever get close to a threshold exercise intensity? Yeah, that means it’s easier on the body.
Remember, metabolic efficiency testing can provide you SO MUCH great information regarding your current nutrition plan and help you create an even better plan that is CUSTOMIZED to your current health and performance status and future goals.
If I have peaked your interest about metabolic efficiency testing, you can read more about it HERE on the eNRG Performance website and check out some of the data that you get from the test and how it is used.
To schedule your metabolic efficiency test, just email me! I have openings frequently throughout the week.


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