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What is basal metabolic rate?

Even when we are sleeping or our body is at rest, there is the energy required to keep the basis of the functioning of the organism under way. Metabolic Rate, or BMR in sum, is the amount of energy required to maintain optimal functioning of the body at rest.

This would include the energy required to keep the lungs, heart, kidneys, sex organs, muscles, skin, brain and liver function while the body is at rest. It is measured in calories. An increase in metabolic rate can be expected to increase during exercise, stress, fear or illness. Similarly, BMR should diminish as you get older, resulting in the loss of fat-free mass.

The BMR is the most important factor that can help you determine how many calories you need to maintain to lose or gain weight. It depends on individual genetic and environmental factors. Some of them are:

  • Age: when we are young, our BMR is high. With age, lean body mass decreases, and there is a slowdown in BMR. After a person reaches 20 years old, he fell about 2 percent per decade.
  • Genetics: Genetic factors can affect the BMR. Some people are born with higher BMR than others.
  • Sex: men generally have more muscle mass than women, combined with a low percentage of body fat. This results in men having a higher BMR.
  • Height and weight: The size and weight affects the BMR. A large and thin person will BMR higher than someone who is short. The heavier body weight, the higher your BMR. That means you the largest body surface, the better your BMR.
  • Percentage of body fat: People with the lowest percentage body fat have higher BMR. Due to the fact that men have a lower percentage of body fat, men are generally from 10 to 15% faster than women BMR.
  • Growth: children and pregnant women have higher BMR.
  • Body Composition: If you have more lean body mass, you have a higher BMR. On the contrary, if you have more fatty tissue, your BMR will be lower.
  • Body temperature and overall health: For each increase of 0.5C in internal temperature of the body, the BMR increases of about 7 percent. The chemical reactions in the body actually become faster with higher body temperature. During fever, BMR increases.
  • Glandular operation: Thyroxin is a hormone which is produced by the thyroid gland. This hormone plays a key role as a regulator BMR, which accelerates the rate of metabolic activity in the body. The amount of thyroxine longer produced, the greater will be the BMR.
  • In the event that too little thyroxine is produced, BMR can come down 30 to 40% of normal levels. The adrenaline of a person may also increase the BMR.
  • Environmental Temperature: outside temperature can affect BMR. For example, in extremely cold temperatures, the body must create extra heat to maintain the internal temperature of the body. This raises the BMR. Also, prolonged exposure to a high heat may also increase the BMR.
  • Fasting / Starvation: Dieting or famine may lead to a dramatic decline in the calorie intake. This lowers BMR. Sometimes weight loss can reduce BMR diet of no less than 20%.
  • Thyroxin: This is the hormone of the thyroid, and is an element for regulating the BMR. The higher amount of thyroxine that is produced, the level of BMR also increases.
  • Stress: There are various short-term factors that may affect the BMR. One of the most important factors is stress. Stress raises the BMR.
  • Exercise: By exercising regularly, help you build lean muscle and increase your BMR.