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Calories burned in a pound of muscle
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:19 AM
Joined: 5/24/2012
Posts: 19

I have heard that gaining a pound of muscle equates to expending an additional amount of calories ranging anywhere from 5 calories to 50 calories. Does anyone have any thoughts, research, or personal experience with this often debated question?

Posted on behalf of the NMBC Executive Council
Jerry Kelsey 6/19/2012 5:47:47 PM
Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:52 PM
Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 2

5 calories to 50 calories per hour? I'm assuming you are talking about at rest. From personal experience and research I've done I would say that a lb of muscle would be on the low end at rest (5-10 calories), but ramped up during exercise. There are too many unanswered variables to be able to give a reasonable answer to that question such as genetics, natural hormone levels, when was the last workout, what type of food is the person eating, etc. Not considering any variables I'd say 5-10 would be a fair range. Think about it in an equation form:
200 lb male with 10% BF= 180 lbs of LBM.
180*5= 900 extra calories burned each hr, 180*10=1,800 extra calories burned per hr. The 180 lbs is including organs, bones, and other stuff of course so the # of calories burned is going to be substantially lower (maybe 50% lower). So we could say 450-900 calories per hr, which is pretty unreasonable. If you took the same concept and put in 50 calories per lb an hour the number would be 9,000 calories (or 4,500 calories) per hour which is way out of the ball park. After looking at it this way, I'd say 1-2 additional calories per hour would be more realistic, but still pretty high. 5-10 calories per day would be much more realistic, but I wasn't sure if you were asking per day or per hour. All this is just off the top of my head, but I hope it helps put things in perspective.