What is an Octane Score? And Why is it Important?

What is an Octane Score?

CAR.O.L uses a metric called the Octane Score to show your fitness level. The Octane Score defines how much power you produce with every heartbeat. The higher your Octane Score, the fitter you are. A strong cardiovascular system pumps out more oxygenated blood in every beat. So, it does not have to beat too fast to deliver the oxygen and nutrients your body requires. This is why top athletes and fitter people commonly have a lower resting heart rate. Your heart is a muscle, as it gets stronger, it beats more powerfully.

As you get fitter, your capillaries multiply in volume and your blood is more oxygenated. Therefore, your skeletal muscles receives and utilizes the required oxygen and nutrients efficiently when needed – like when you exercise on CAR.O.L – your Octane Score captures all this physiology!  

What is its significance?

In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of fitness. CAR.O.L provides users with important insight into their capacity for endurance exercise performance and overall health by calculating individual Octane Score. In our laboratory, we recently compared individual fitness levels obtained from the gold standard assessment of VO2max to Octane Score in a cohort of individuals ranging in age from 25 to 76 years old.

We found that individual Octane Scores correlated directly with their VO2max values. As such, changes in Octane Score can be used to track changes in fitness. Here are two reasons why this is helpful for users:

  1. Traditionally, the magnitude of an individual’s VO2max has been viewed as one of the most important predictors of endurance performance. Tracking changes in Octane Score percentage change provides insight into potential for improved endurance performance. For instance, a 10% improvement in Octane Score would translate to a 10 percent faster 10K race time.
  2. Individual VO2max correlates to heart health with research showing each one percent improvement in VO2max equating to a one to two percent reduced risk for heart disease. For example, a CAR.O.L user who improved Octane Score over 8weeks of training by 12 percent will have reduced their risk for heart disease by 12 to 24 percent.