Maximum Fat Oxidation Rate (MFO)

The Maximum Fat Oxidation Rate (MFO) refers to the highest rate at which your body can use fat as a source of energy during exercise. During prolonged physical activities, like endurance sports, your body taps into both carbohydrates and fats for energy. As exercise intensity changes, the preference for which fuel to burn also shifts.

MFO is typically reached at a moderate exercise intensity. Knowing one’s MFO can be beneficial for endurance athletes because it helps them identify the optimal intensity to maximize fat burning, which can be especially useful in longer events where conserving carbohydrate stores is crucial. Training at or near this intensity can improve the body’s ability to utilize fat, potentially enhancing endurance performance.

In practical terms, if you’re an endurance athlete, optimizing your training to increase your body’s efficiency in burning fat could mean you’ll last longer during races and deplete carbohydrate stores more slowly.

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