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Fat burner vs. sugar burner energy sources
First thing’s first, “The sugar we’re talking about is carbohydrates, which is your body’s currency,” says Guest, explaining that most people confuse carbohydrates (which are broken down to glucose) with the sugar you’d find in sweets and fat in foods with the fat cells on your body.
To test out whether you’re a fat burner or a sugar burner, researchers “put someone through an exercise test, which measures the gas exchange rigged with a mask and breathing tubes, to precisely measure their gas exchange.” That helps determine how much carbon dioxide you’re producing versus how much oxygen you’re taking in. “Based on the respiratory quotient—the rate of carbon dioxide produced versus oxygen consumed has a range value of 0.7 to 1 – if the number is closer to one, you’re burning more carbohydrates than fat,” says Guest.