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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
ORIGINAL INVESTIGATIONS: PDF Only

Exercise performance and ventilatory response in the menstrual cycle.

DOMBOVY, MARY L.; BONEKAT, H. WILLIAM; WILLIAMS, TRACY J.; STAATS, BRUCE A.

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Abstract

DOMBOVY, M. L., H. W. BONEKAT, T. J. WILLIAMS, and B. A. STAATS. Exercise performance and ventilatory response in the menstrual cycle. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 111-117, 1987. We investigated the effects of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, as compared with the follicular phase, on ventilatory response (VR) and exercise performance in eight normally menstruating, non-athletic women. Subjects were studied near the predicted mid-point of each phase which was later documented by serum progesterone level. Resting VR to hypercapnia was greater, and VR to hypoxia tended to be greater in the luteal phase than in the follicular phase, but the increases in VRs were unrelated to progesterone level. There were no differences in maximal oxygen uptake, maximal duration of exercise, maximal heart rate, work efficiency, maximal ventilation ([latin capital V with dot above]E), anaerobic (ventilatory) threshold, gas exchange, cardiac output, or oxygen delivery. The PaCO2 was lower, and pHa tended to be higher during exercise. [latin capital V with dot above]E per unit CO2 output ([latin capital V with dot above]E/[latin capital V with dot above]CO2) was increased. R values ([latin capital V with dot above]CO2/[latin capital V with dot above]O2) were less, and maximal lactate values tended to be less, suggestive of increased dependence on fat for energy metabolism. At a given workload, exercise [latin capital V with dot above]E was unchanged due to the effect of less CO2 output at a given [latin capital V with dot above]O2 (lower R), balancing increased [latin capital V with dot above]E/[latin capital V with dot above]CO2. We conclude that, although ventilatory parameters are altered by the menstrual cycle, there is no overall effect on maximal exercise performance.

(C)1987The American College of Sports Medicine

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