1. #1

    Do you burn more calories when you are sick?

    If you are sick with a cold, or a slight fever, do you burn more calories than normal when exercising? I know you're not supposed to exercise with a fever, but just hypothetically.

  2. #2
    Well, when you're ill your body gets warmer to help boost your immune system, which does result in you burning more energy.

    This is just a complete guess, but I would imagine that the amount of energy you burn while exercising would be about the same. Since your body is already being taxed by whatever illness you have, you have less stamina, which would result in a shorter and less intensive workout.

    If you're really that concerned about burning calories, I suggest just trying to take comfort in the fact that simply being sick is helping you to lose weight.

  3. #3
    High Overlord Sepuku's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    I personally never stop training when I'm ill. I always find I recover much much faster, I just decrease the wait a little to prevent injury

  4. #4
    I doubt it makes a significant difference in any capacity whatsoever.
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  5. #5
    I almost passed out after a set of pendlay rows today because I underestimated my head cold. I'm glad it wasn't a squat day.

    If nothing else, working out while you're exhibiting flu or bronchitis symptoms isn't the best of ideas. Rest is important and drastically increasing your ATP demands doesn't help. Any difference in caloric expenditure is not gonna be noticeable and you put yourself at a greater risk of dehydration if you aren't getting enough fluids. Water is important.

  6. #6
    The body burns calories all the time to keep the constant 36.6 oC temperature. Imagine when having to maintain a fever in order to increase the immune response and denature (destroy) bacterial or viral enzymes. You also burn more calories when you are cold by muscle shivering.

    Usually when you are ill you cannot exercise even if you wanted to but I know for sure if you got the flu (the real influenza virus, not a cold) exercising increases blood flow so it might migrate the virus in the heart and cause endocarditis (heart infection) which is really serious.
    Last edited by Juvencus; 2012-02-18 at 01:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sepuku View Post
    I personally never stop training when I'm ill. I always find I recover much much faster, I just decrease the wait a little to prevent injury
    regular exercise increases your immune system, which is why many people with AIDS become fitness nuts.

    OT; generally you lose your appetite when you are sick so your caloric intake is reduced. while you very well may burn more calories the main thing about being sick and weight loss is simply because you dont eat(or in some cases it just blows straight through you)
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  8. #8
    the weight loss is only temporary as you lose mainly cellular fluids
    True, but the difference is that in GTA3 you're only shooting (and robbing, murdering, having sex with, etc) pixels. In WOW you get the pleasure of dealing with some of the most despicable human behaviour you'll ever witness.

  9. #9
    Yes, under many circumstances you burn more calories when you are sick. However, you should not exert yourself while you are fighting an infection.

    -It is now knows that every one degree centigrade rise in body temperature during a fever increases the effectiveness of immune cells by 10%. Immune cells initiate fever themselves using a chemical called Interleukin 1.

    -Patients recovering from serious wounds, burns or surgery consume massive amounts of calories. A person with extensive third degree burns can utilize almost ten times the normal calories of a healthy, normal person.

  10. #10
    Hmm, so does that mean those of us who don't get fevers and instead run low temperatures when sick like 95F (35C) or lower burn less calories when sick?

  11. #11
    Cookie Monster Radux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Indiana, USA
    It's not about the level of your temperature, Arlee. It would mostly imply that your body is already 'working harder' to get rid of whatever sickness is there + add in whatever other workouts you do.

    This is just my assumption, though. I haven't actually searched for any peer reviewed academic papers on the subject or anything.

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