Endurance athletes are as superhuman as it gets, fueled by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy.

But a new study suggests that human endurance does have a limit — and it’s likely similar for everyone. The long-term cap is about 2.5 times the body’s resting metabolic rate, or 4,000 calories per day for an average person, scientists reported yesterday (June 5) in the journal Science Advances.

(The resting metabolic rate is a measure of how many calories the body burns for basic physiological needs such as maintaining body temperature and breathing.)

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