How much does body fat rate affect sports performance?

What is body fat percentage? As the name suggests, body fat percentage is the ratio of body fat to body weight. When we are talking about body, are we talking about this?

A lower body fat rate is closely related to a good figure, but is the lower body fat rate better? First of all, we have to understand the role of fat. In short, fat has the function of providing calories, maintaining body temperature and protecting internal organs. Fat is an important functional substance in the body, and the amount of heat it generates greatly exceeds other nutrients in the same amount. At the same time, fat can also play a role in cushioning and protecting organs.

So for athletes who want to improve their athletic performance, or for ordinary riders like us, what does body fat percentage mean?

The formula for calculating body fat percentage of adult women:
Parameter a=waist circumference (cm)×0.74
Parameter b=weight (kg)×0.082+34.89
Body fat weight (kg)=a-b
Body fat percentage = (total weight of body fat ÷ weight) × 100%

The formula for calculating body fat percentage of adult men:
Parameter a=waist circumference (cm)×0.74
Parameter b=weight (kg)×0.082+44.74
Body fat weight (kg)=a-b
Body fat percentage = (total weight of body fat ÷ weight) × 100%.

Body fat percentage and athletic performance
There is no doubt that the performance of sports depends largely on physical fitness. Physical fitness refers to the various functional capabilities shown by the various organ systems when the human body is engaged in physical labor or sports, mainly including speed, strength, endurance, agility and flexibility. And body fat affects physical fitness and then sports performance.

Influencing factors of body fat rate
Overall, the body fat rate of men is lower than that of women. The body fat rate of male athletes is between 6%-13%, and the body fat rate of female athletes is between 14-20%. They also participated in the Olympic ice hockey competition, and the body fat rate of male athletes was 13%.

Age is an important factor. During adolescence, males have a higher percentage of muscle growth compared to females. Therefore, taking swimming as an example, we can observe that the adjustment of female athletes during adolescence largely determines the direction of their future development.

Gene is also an influencing factor. We often say that some people will not get fat no matter how they eat, and some people will get fat even if they drink saliva. Of course, genes also affect the ratio of human fat to muscle, and the muscle composition of different races is also different.

The best body fat rate?
Of course, it is meaningless to emphasize a specific value, because there are always differences between individuals. However, an approximate body fat rate can provide effective guidance for making training plans.


Among the top marathon runners, the body fat percentage of male athletes is around 5%-11%, and that of female athletes is around 10%-15%. Such a body fat rate ensures that it provides enough energy for the body without impairing endurance.

For ordinary people, we do not have to reach the level of elite athletes. 14%-17% of men and 21%-24% of women are in the healthy range. For mass runners, the data listed before is actually meaningful. Taking male runners as an example, a body fat percentage of 10%-15% is ideal, but this does not mean that running outside of this range is not suitable.

Of course, the purpose of exercise should be health. Therefore, people with a high body fat rate should consume more aerobic exercise to consume fat; ordinary people with a normal body fat rate can maintain a healthy body fat rate through stable training. However, while ensuring the level of exercise and health, reducing body fat rate or weight loss helps to relieve the impact on joints.

Having said so much, everyone must control body fat within a healthy and reasonable range. For most people, reducing body fat is a basic need. We all know that the safest way to lose fat is scientific exercise + reasonable diet. How to effectively reduce body fat?

Diet control fat
1. Eat more protein and fiber
You must have heard before: Get rid of stubborn fat and start to build muscle, which requires protein. The body can burn protein for energy, but it prefers carbohydrates and fats; so when you mainly eat protein, the body uses stored carbohydrates and fats. This way protein is stored to repair muscles!
Fish and chicken are good sources of protein-you should stick to lean and white meats. Low-fat dairy products are also good, and beans, soybeans and eggs are also effective sources of protein. Normal people can only have 10% of their daily calories come from protein, but if you want to eliminate fat, this ratio must rise to 25-30%.
Don't forget the fiber! Fiber digests slowly, helping you to feel fuller, and it can also absorb water and fat, thereby helping you lose weight. So add beans, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, and berries to your recipe. 

2. You need to understand that you still need high-quality fats
Some people believe that a fat-free or low-fat diet is a good diet. Well, a low-fat diet is indeed, but only when you eat the right diet (yes, you might do it wrong). You need to stick to high-quality fats. High-quality fats (unsaturated fats, Omega 3 and 6) can promote fat burning and metabolism.
The fat left in the diet should come from fatty fish such as salmon, olive oil, avocado and nuts. However, although they are high-quality fats, it does not mean that you should eat too much. You must be restrained when you eat anything.
One more thing to say, what you need to avoid is the fat in processed foods. Including those frozen foods! Stay away from cookies, cakes, potato chips, fast food and fried foods. They only have junk calories.

3. Plan your carbohydrate intake
Regarding carbohydrates, the opinions of all parties are very different. British Atkins Group believes that carbohydrates should not be eaten. It is true that not eating carbohydrates can make you burn fat, but without this kind of food, your body will not be able to support it, because it means you will lose 60% of your body's preferred energy source. So let's think of some other ways.
Carbohydrate cycle. The scientific reasoning behind this method is that you have two days to eat a low-carbohydrate diet (approximately 1g of carbohydrates per 0.45kg of body weight) to put your body into a state of breaking down fat. Then you eat a high-carbohydrate diet for a day to speed up your metabolism. Without a high-carbohydrate diet that day, your metabolism will stop working.
Take it at the right time. Complex carbohydrates (brown rice, beans, oats) can be eaten before six o'clock in the evening (in general, it is not recommended to eat late at night). And simple carbohydrates should only be eaten after training. When your body is sweating while exercising, simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) can be stored as glycogen instead of fat. It is best not to eat it at other times.

4. Consider heat circulation
The principle behind the calorie cycle is the same: if you don't get enough calories, your body will collapse, stop working, and consume your muscles. Therefore, when you eat a low-calorie diet, you should also have time for a high-calorie diet to ensure the body's supply and metabolism.
1200 calories or less is a hungry state. If you are interested in calorie cycling, you need to know how many calories your body needs before proceeding. You can eat less than this number for a few days, but ensure that it is not continuous.
This method is suitable for those who are losing weight smoothly. If you have the last bit of fat left to lose, then have a shock.

5. Eat frequently
Avoiding body fat lies in your metabolism, especially when you lose to the last 2.3-4.5kg. To ensure your metabolism, you need to eat constantly. But wait! You may have heard that you should eat small meals 5-6 times a day. This statement is closer to the truth. The principle is actually this: when you have been eating small meals, your body has been providing insulin and not burning fat.
In this way, you will never be truly 100% satisfied. So you can eat 5-6 meals a day, including three meals and two snacks. The idea is the same, but the improvement is more effective.
breakfast! Let's say it again: breakfast! It is too important. Your body needs to know when it can start burning calories, and breakfast is that signal.

6. Include fat cells in your diet
If you are looking for a fast weight loss method that does not require fitness, then this is one of them. If you add these things to the recipe, obviously you will see better and faster results. In other words, these foods will help you on your way to lose weight: almonds, cherries, low-fat yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, etc.


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