Women can process oxygen more quickly than men when they start to exercise, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo. The study compared oxygen uptake and muscle oxygen extraction between men and women of similar age and weight during treadmill exercise. Women consistently outperformed men with around 30 per cent faster oxygen handling throughout the body.
By processing oxygen faster, women are less likely to accumulate molecules linked with muscle fatigue, effort perception and poor athletic performance.
While it’s not known why women have faster oxygen uptake, this study shakes up conventional wisdom. It could change the approach for assessment and athletic training down the road.