Challenging the popular notion that men are more fit for exercise of all sorts, a new study has shown that women have a natural capacity to process oxygen more quickly than men during aerobic exercises, making them more athletic.
The findings showed that the faster processing of oxygen enabled the cells of a woman’s body to undergo less strain especially during aerobic exercises — such as cardio, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking — which require oxygen to help produce energy.
“The findings are contrary to the popular assumption that men’s bodies are more naturally athletic,” said lead author Thomas Beltrame, Professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
“We found that women’s muscles extract oxygen from the blood faster, which, scientifically speaking, indicates a superior aerobic system,” added Richard Hughson, another researcher at the varsity.
The study, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, compared the oxygen uptake and muscle oxygen extraction between healthy and active young men and women of similar age and weight during a treadmill exercise.
Women were found to consistently outperform men with around 30 per cent faster oxygen handling throughout the body during the exercise.
These women were also less likely to accumulate molecules linked with muscle fatigue, effort perception and poor athletic performance.