Dr. Íñigo San Millán

Over the past twenty-seven years I have been working as an applied exercise physiologist and sports medicine advisor to many professional teams and athletes worldwide from sports including cycling, soccer, football, basketball, hockey, rowing, swimming, triathlon, University athletics, track and field, running, gymnastics and organizations like the US Olympic Committee, the International Cycling Union, US Cycling, US Rowing, US Swimming and US Triathlon.

I have been a pioneer in the development new methodologies in different fields of athletic performance like physiological and metabolic assessment and protocols to assess mitochondrial function, nutrition, glycogen measurement, recovery, overtraining, blood analysis, metabolomics, or muscle damage monitoring and prevention. I have spent twenty-seven years studying the metabolic and physiological response to exercise in the elite athlete as well as the adaptations at the cellular and mitochondrial level.

My main passion also is the application of the knowledge I have acquired with elite athletes to populations with different chronic diseases like cardiometabolic diseases, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes as well as cancer and ICU patients.

World-class athletes possess the most perfect physiology and metabolism known in humans. Hence, they are perfection. As I always say, we cannot understand imperfection without understanding perfection in the first place. Working with world-class athletes has allowed me to understand what perfection is at the physiological and metabolic level.

Like in the case of elite athletes, I have developed novel methodologies to assess metabolic function to work with populations with chronic diseases, a term that I have coined “Metabolic Rehabilitation”.

Furthermore, I have devoted a significant amount of time to study cellular metabolism with the deployment of novel approaches, especially in cancer metabolism and mitochondrial function through the integration of state-of-the-art methodologies which have allowed me to understand at a granular level the multiple cellular responses in athletes, normal individuals and populations with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes or cancer.

I am currently a faculty at the University of Colorado, in the departments of Medicine as well as Human Physiology and Nutrition. My areas of research, clinical work and interest include sports performance, metabolic health, exercise metabolism, cancer metabolism, nutrition, diabetes  and critical care.

As a scholar, I frequently also speak at conferences and events around the world in the fields of sports performance, metabolic health, type 2 diabetes, cancer metabolism or exercise prescription.


  • Undergraduate: Exercise and Health Science-Sports Medicine, Colorado State University, USA
  • Doctorate: School of Medicine, University of the Basque Country, Spain
  • Postgraduate: Cancer Research Program, Harvard Medical School,


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