Sports Nutrition Terminology
Below is a list of nutrition terms which sometimes get confused, may not always be clear, and may require defining. If you have other words that you don't quite understand or cannot find a definition for, let me know and I will add them to this list.
- Aerobic metabolism - The metabolic process that occurs in the cells, by which the body uses oxygen to produce energy.
- Anaerobic - Anaerobic processes occur in the cells of the body without the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic training is of high intensity and short duration, with the aim of the efficiency of the body's anaerobic energy-producing systems.
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR) - The lowest rate of body metabolism (rate of energy use) that can sustain life, measured after a full night's sleep in a laboratory under optimal conditions of quiet, rest and relaxation.
- Body composition - Body composition refers to the components of the body. It is usually divided into two components: the amount of fat mass (weight) and the amount of fat-free mass (muscle, bone, skin and organs) in the body.
- Fat-free mass - The combined mass of the body of everything that is not fat (e.g. muscle, bone, skin and organs) .
- Glycogen - The form in which carbohydrates are stored in the body. Primary sites for storage are the muscles and the liver.
- Kilocalorie (kcal) -
A measure of the energy value in food and physical activity.
"Kilocalorie" is the more accurate term for the commonly
used abbreviation "Calorie."
1 kilocalorie (kcal) = 1 Calorie (Cal) = 1000 calories (cal)
To convert kcal to kilojoules (kJ), multiply the kcal value by 4.2.
- Kilojoule (kJ) -
The SI unit for a measure of the energy value, for example
in food and physical activity.
1 kilojoule (kJ) = 0.238 kilocalories (kcal)
- Lactate - A salt formed from lactic acid. See also lactic acid.
- Lactic acid - Anaerobic exercise produces lactic acid, which quickly forms lactate in the muscles. because of this, the terms "lactate" and "lactic acid" are often used interchangeably.
- Respiratory Exchange Ratio - The ration of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the body to the amount of oxygen consumed. At rest it ranges from 0.6 to 1.0 depending on what fuels the body is using. During exercise, it may go above 1, and can be used to measure anaerobic threshold and indicate when VO2max is reached.
- Resting metabolic rate (RMR) - The body's metabolic rate (rate of energy use) early in the morning after an overnight fast and a full eight hours' sleep. This is different than Basal metabolic rate.