Doubly labeled water measurement of human energy expenditure during exercise at high altitude

R. W. Hoyt, T. E. Jones, C. J. Baker-Fulco, D. A. Schoeller, R. B. Schoene, R. S. Schwartz, E. W. Askew, A. Cymerman

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43 Scopus citations


Estimates of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) by the doubly labeled water (DLW, 2H218O) and intake balance (I-B) methods were compared in six male soldiers studied over 6 days that included 5 days of strenuous winter exercise at 2,500- to 3,100-m elevation. Use of body energy stores [-9.54 ± 1.54 (SD) MJ/day or -2,280 ± 368 kcal/day] was estimated from changes in body weight, body density (hydrodensitometry), and total body water (H218O dilution). The subjects wore computerized activity monitors and kept daily records of ration consumption (9.87 ± 3.60 MJ/day or 2,359 ± 860 kcal/day). Accuracy of individual DLW and I-B TDEE values was estimated from the correlations of TDEE with fat-free mass (FFM) or total weight (body wt + load). The DLW and I-B estimates of TDEE differed by -12.0 to 15.2% but provided comparable estimates of group mean TDEE (DLW = 19.07 ± 2.37 MJ/day or 4,558 ± 566 kcal/day; I-B = 19.41 ± 3.72 MJ/day or 4,639 ± 889 kcal/day; P > 0.05). The DLW TDEE was correlated with both FFM (r2 = 0.89, P < 0.01, power = 0.95) and total weight (r2 = 0.95, P < 0.01, power = 0.99), whereas I-B TDEE was correlated only with total weight (r2 = 0.75, P < 0.03, power = 0.81). Under adverse field conditions the DLW method provided individual TDEE estimates that were probably more accurate than those provided by the I-B method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R966-R971
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 35-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • body composition
  • energy deficit
  • field study
  • food intake-energy balance

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