Loss of body weight and fat during exercise in a cold chamber

Summary

Ten men spent one week in a cold climatic facility performing a simulated arctic military exercise demanding an energy expenditure of 13–16 MJ·day−1. Although the ration pack was adequate, extensive plate wastage led to a negative energy balance of 2.2 MJ·day−1. Fluid intake was also insufficient, with a 3.25% decrease of body weight, and a 9.7% decrease in skin thickness over the cold exposure. Extensive fat mobilization was indicated by a decrease of skinfold thicknesses, an increase of body density, and associated ketonuria and glycosuria. The fat breakdown far exceeded the calculated energy deficit, and it is postulated that much of the “surplus” energy was required for synthesis of additional muscle protein. In the arctic environment, both energy and fluid balances are better maintained because there are few distractions from the simple pleasure of preparing and eating meals.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Brebbia, D. R., Goldman, R. F., Buskirk, E. R.: Water vapor loss from the respiratory tract during outdoor exercise in the cold. Technical Report EP-57. Natick: Headquarters, U.S. Quartermaster Research and Development Command, 1957

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Browning, E.: Toxicity and metabolism of industrial solvents. Amsterdam: Elsevier 1965

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Brozek, J., Grande, F., Anderson, J. T., Keys, A.: Densitometric analysis of body composition: revision of some quantitative assumptions. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 110, 113–140 (1963)

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Durnin, J. V. G. A., Passmore, R.: Energy, work and leisure. London: Heinemann 1967

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Durnin, J. V. G. A., Ramahan, M. M.: The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness. Brit. J. Nutr. 21, 681–689 (1967)

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Harper, H. A.: Review of physiological chemistry, 14th Ed. California: Lange 1973

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Leblanc, J. A.: Effect of environmental temperature on energy expenditure and caloric requirements. J. appl. Physiol. 10, 281–283 (1957)

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Lennquist, S., Granberg, P. O., Wedin, B.: Fluid balance and physical work capacity in humans exposed to cold. A.M.A. Arch. environ. Hlth 29, 241–249 (1974)

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Masterson, J. P., Lewis, H. E., Widdowson, E. M.: Nutrition and energy expenditure during a polar expedition. Advanc. of Sci. 13, 414–416 (1956)

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Muir, A. L.: Ketonuria in the Antarctic: a preliminary study. Brit. Antarctic Survey Bull. 20, 53–68 (1969)

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Munro, H. N.: In: Mammalian protein metabolism, Vol. 1 (H. N. Munro, J. B. Allison, ed.), p. 385. New York: Academic Press 1964

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    O'Hara, W. J., Allen, C., Shephard, R. J.: Loss of body fat during an arctic winter expedition. Canad. J. Physiol. (in press)

  13. 13.

    Peden, V. H.: Determination of individual serum “ketone bodies” with normal values in infants and children. J. Lab. clin. Med. 63, 332–343 (1964)

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Rogers, T. A., Setliff, J. A., Klopping, J. C.: Energy cost, fluid and electrolyte balance in sub-arctic survival situations. J. appl. Physiol. 19, 1–8 (1964)

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Rowe, V. K., Wolf, M. A.: In: Industrial hygiene and toxicology, Vol. 2 (F. A. Patty, ed.), p. 1726. New York: Wiley 1963

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Shephard, R. J.: Endurance fitness, 2nd Ed. Toronto 1977

  17. 17.

    Shephard, R. J., Kavanagh, T.: Fluid and mineral balance in postcoronary marathon runners. Proceedings of International Symposium on Athletic Nutrition, Ventimiglia, Italy, June 1976

  18. 18.

    Sinning, W. E.: Experiments and demonstrations in exercise physiology. Toronto: Saunders 1975

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Sulway, M. J., Malins, J. M.: Acetone in diabetic keto-acidosis. Lancet 1970 II, 736–740

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Welch, B., Levy, L. M., Consolazio, C. F., Buskirk, E. R., Dee, T. E.: Caloric intake for prolonged hard work in the cold. U.S. Army Medical Nutrition Laboratory Report 202, 1–24 (1957)

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Wick, A. N., Drury, D. R.: The effect of concentration on the rate of utilization of 3-hydroxybutyric acid by the rabbit. J. biol. Chem. 138, 129–134 (1941)

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Wilmore, J. H.: A simplified method for determination of residual lung volumes. J. appl. Physiol. 27, 96–100 (1969)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

O'Hara, W.J., Allen, C. & Shephard, R.J. Loss of body weight and fat during exercise in a cold chamber. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 37, 205–218 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00421776

Download citation

Key words

  • Arctic exercise
  • Energy balance
  • Fat loss
  • Cold dehydration
  • Ketosis