What does it truly mean to work out in your fat burning zone? There is a test to find out. While it is designed to help athletes maximize their endurance, performance and fine-tune the food they need to keep their bodies going, it can also help everyday people just wanting to lose weight. How the metabolic efficiency test works in Health Watch.
The Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab recently moved to 400 Mill Street near downtown Reno. The goal for the high-tech center is to get your body working as efficiently as possible. "In this lab we do science-based testing of athletes and anybody who wants to improve,” explains Michelle Faurot.
The metabolic efficiency test is performed on a treadmill or a bike and it helps determine what your body uses for energy. "It accurately measures how much your body is processing at each stage of the exercise you're doing to let you know how much of your energy is coming from fat and how much is coming from carbohydrate." Faurot is not only the lab's director, she is also an accomplished athlete who holds the record in the Race Across America for an eight-woman team.
Dr. Andy Pasternak is the medical director and also an avid athlete who is passionate about studying the science of athletics. "We saw a lot of athletes who were very interested in trying to burn more fat," he says of why they started offering this test.
After a brief evaluation, clients strap themselves into a heart-rate monitor, jump on the treadmill and hook up to a breathing device that will track exhaled breath. That measurement, along with heart rate, speed, perceived exertion and blood lactate are recorded. Dr. Pasternak pricks your ear and takes a small blood sample every three minutes. Your lactate level is a byproduct of metabolic function, so the harder you work out – the higher your lactate level will go. It is a slow and steady test to show athletes exactly when your body crosses over from using mostly fat as fuel to mostly carbs. "As the intensity goes up, you're going to be burning more carbohydrates than fats." Once you know that specific number, it can help you better determine how to tap into your stored fat for training, endurance, weight loss and overall health. For some people that means training for a longer period of time at a lower intensity. "A lot of athletes like to use it, but it's great for the everyday person who's just trying to get in better shape and maybe reduce body fat."
You can speak with the Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab team Monday, September 18th from 5-6 p.m. during our Ask the Doctor segment. Call (775) 858-2222 during the newscast. You can also find the lab at 400 Mill Street in Reno or call (775) 853-9394. You can also learn more at: http://silversagecenter.com/silver-sage-sports-performance-center-02fitness-new-and-improved-services/