Healthcare, Vol. 11, Pages 1502: Sex Differences in Maximal Oxygen Uptake Adjusted for Skeletal Muscle Mass in Amateur Endurance Athletes: A Cross Sectional Study

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Healthcare, Vol. 11, Pages 1502: Sex Differences in Maximal Oxygen Uptake Adjusted for Skeletal Muscle Mass in Amateur Endurance Athletes: A Cross Sectional Study

Healthcare doi: 10.3390/healthcare11101502

Authors:
Higgor Amadeus Martins
José Geraldo Barbosa
Aldo Seffrin
Lavínia Vivan
Vinicius Ribeiro dos Anjos Souza
Claudio Andre Barbosa de Lira
Katja Weiss
Beat Knechtle
Marilia Santos Andrade

Male athletes tend to outperform female athletes in several endurance sports. Maximum cardiac output can be estimated by maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max), and it has been established that men present V˙O2max values about 20% higher than women. Although sex differences in V˙O2max have already been well studied, few studies have assessed sex differences with regard to muscle oxidative capacity. The aim of this study was to compare aerobic muscle quality, accessed by V˙O2max and adjusted by lower limb lean mass, between male and female amateur triathletes. The study also aimed to compare sex differences according to V˙O2 submaximal values assessed at ventilatory thresholds. A total of 57 participants (23 women and 34 men), who had been training for Olympic-distance triathlon races, underwent body composition evaluation by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and performed a cardiorespiratory maximal test on a treadmill. Male athletes had significantly higher V˙O2max, both absolutely and when adjusted to body mass. Conversely, when V˙O2max was adjusted for lean mass, there was no significant difference between sexes. The same was observed at submaximal exercise intensities. In conclusion, differences in V˙O2max adjusted to body mass but not lean mass may explain, at least in part, sex differences in performance in triathlons, marathons, cycling, and other endurance sports.

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