Which Pro Athletes Burn the Most Calories?

Professional athletes in every sport work hard, but just how hard do they work? That’s a tough question to answer since every athlete is different and every sport requires them to use their bodies in different ways.

Their workouts can be as tough as their actual performance, and a bad workout could force a player into retirement. During a game, if they go too hard, injuries can happen at anytime to any player as well. All those men and women are certainly working hard, but how can you figure out who’s working harder?

An easy way is to figure out just how many calories these professional athletes are burning during a game. It’s not a foolproof way to measure it, but it’s a good start. Connor Toole at BroBible did the legwork on this and here are his findings, from the sport with the least calories burnt on average to the sport with the most.

Basketball – 635 calories 

You may think that all that running and jumping burns more calories than other sports, but apparently not. That’s mainly because there are many moments in a regular game where the players are just standing around or jogging lightly.

In fact, according to Gizmodo, the average basketball player runs about 2.7 miles per game. Star players like LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard however will burn more calories than normal as they’ll have more game time than others.

Hockey – 700 calories

Next on this list is hockey. Hockey is a very physical sport, with lots of skating, shoving, and sometimes even fighting. Although professional hockey goalie Carey Price claimed to have burnt over 2,300 calories during a single game, the average game is still a tough job for most players. 

Baseball – 1,050 calories

America’s favorite past-time is 5th on this list and it’s easy to see why. With all that swinging and sprinting, especially in open-air stadiums, most baseball players will break a sweat.

What’s surprising though is that it’s estimated that pitchers burn the most calories on a team! For example, Chris Sale, a pitcher for the Red Sox, burns so many calories that he can eat tons of junk food and still have a hard time putting on weight.

Golf – 1,240 calories

Probably the most surprising entry on this list is golf, which is a sport that burns almost twice as many calories as a game of basketball does. The main reason is that professional golfers have to walk around the entire golf course during a match. That’s part of the reason why golf stars like Tiger Woods have to maintain such a healthy physique in order to compete at the highest level. 

Soccer – 1,350 calories

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Recovery session ❄️??

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This is likely the least surprising entry on this list, as soccer is a sport where the players just have to keep running and running and running. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, ran an average of about 5.7 miles per game, and he didn’t even run the most nor did he run the fastest in his league! 

Tennis – 1,650 calories

Perhaps a bit surprisingly, tennis is the sport that burns the 2nd most calories per game of the sports covered. Tennis is a full-body sport so all the running, jumping, and striking adds up.

However, the biggest reason why tennis burns so many calories per game is that the average game is almost 3 hours long. That’s why high-level athletes like Serena Williams always train hard to maintain their incredible level of stamina.

Football – 1,760 calories

Unsurprisingly, football takes the cake and eats it too when it comes to how demanding of a sport it is. This makes a lot of sense as football involves a lot of running, some jumping, tackling, throwing, and many other strenuous actions.

Mix in the average game time of over 3 hours and you have the sport that burns the most calories per game. J.J. Watts, the defensive end for the Houston Texans, claims to have a diet of over 9,000 calories a day yet he’s still extremely healthy and fit due to how taxing his workouts and job is.