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Systematic Review

Sex Differences in VO2max and the Impact on Endurance-Exercise Performance

Department of Human Physiology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 4946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19094946
Received: 7 April 2022 / Accepted: 15 April 2022 / Published: 19 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Female Athlete Health in Training and Sports Performance)
It was not until 1984 that women were permitted to compete in the Olympic marathon. Today, more women than men participate in road racing in all distances except the marathon where participation is near equal. From the period of 1985 to 2004, the women’s marathon record improved at a rate three times greater than men’s. This has led many to question whether women are capable of surpassing men despite the fact that there remains a 10–12% performance gap in all distance events. The progressive developments in sports performance research and training, beginning with A.V. Hill’s establishment of the concept of VO2max, have allowed endurance athletes to continue performance feats previously thought to be impossible. However, even today women are significantly underrepresented in sports performance research. By focusing more research on the female physiology and sex differences between men and women, we can better define how women differ from men in adapting to training and potentially use this information to improve endurance-exercise performance in women. The male advantage in endurance-exercise performance has commonly been attributed to their higher VO2max, even when expressed as mL/kg/min. It is widely known that oxygen delivery is the primary limiting factor in elite athletes when it comes to improving VO2max, but little research has explored the sex differences in oxygen delivery. Thus, the purpose of this review is to highlight what is known about the sex differences in the physiological factors contributing to VO2max, more specifically oxygen delivery, and the impacts on performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: sex differences; oxygen consumption; athletic performance; exercise physiology sex differences; oxygen consumption; athletic performance; exercise physiology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Santisteban, K.J.; Lovering, A.T.; Halliwill, J.R.; Minson, C.T. Sex Differences in VO2max and the Impact on Endurance-Exercise Performance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4946. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19094946

AMA Style

Santisteban KJ, Lovering AT, Halliwill JR, Minson CT. Sex Differences in VO2max and the Impact on Endurance-Exercise Performance. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(9):4946. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19094946

Chicago/Turabian Style

Santisteban, Kelsey J., Andrew T. Lovering, John R. Halliwill, and Christopher T. Minson. 2022. "Sex Differences in VO2max and the Impact on Endurance-Exercise Performance" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 9: 4946. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19094946

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