Burke, who lived in Colorado Springs, Colo., with his wife, Kathleen, was a former director of the Center for Science, Medicine and Technology at the U.S. Cycling Federation in Colorado Springs, and worked with the U.S. Olympic cycling team during the 1980 and '84 Games.
Burke earned a doctorate in exercise physiology from Ohio State University. A longtime competitive cyclist, he was among the pioneers in applying scientific principles to endurance sports training, especially cycling.
He was among the first researchers to test sports drinks, the first athletes to use them, and the first advocates to promote them. As an exercise physiologist, he was responsible for several advances in sports drink formulation and he almost single-handedly developed the subcategory of performance recovery drinks.
The author of 17 books on fitness, training and physiology, including the best-selling Optimal Muscle Recovery, Burke served as a professor of exercise science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He was still cycling competitively at the time of his passing.
Burke contributed articles to numerous magazines, journals and Web sites, including Active.com.
He is survived by his wife Kathleen.
Matt Fitzgerald of PoweringMuscles.com contributed to this story