Young women could be aerobically fitter than young men, a new study has claimed.
While previous research has mostly indicated that men supersede women on the fitness front, researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have found that women are able to draw oxygen from the blood at a faster rate, meaning that they can actually outperform men.
Thomas Beltrame and a team of scientists measured the oxygen uptake and muscle oxygen extraction rates of 18 young men and women while they exercised on a treadmill.
All of the participants were of a similar age and weight in order to ensure for a fair result.
The participants performed three moderate-intensity treadmill exercises, during which time their oxygen processes were closely monitored.
The scientist concluded that the nine female participants processed oxygen at an average rate of 30 per cent times faster than the men while they exercised.
This meant that the females performed better and were less likely to experience muscle fatigue post-workout.
"The findings are contrary to the popular assumption that men's bodies are more naturally athletic," explains Beltrame.
"While we don't know why women have faster oxygen uptake, this study shakes up conventional wisdom.
“It could change the way we approach assessment and athletic training down the road."
Beltrame’s study is one of the first to examine oxygen uptake specifically in young healthy adults and he had originally thought that the males would exhibit a faster aerobic system than the men.
His findings go against previous studies which claim that men are naturally more athletic than women due to innate discrepancies in height, weight, body fat and muscle mass.
The study was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.