You've likely heard the phrase "VO2 max" thrown around. However, you might be scratching your head, questioning what it actually means.
So, what exactly is VO2 max?
Simply put, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can use during activity. The ability of the body to utilize oxygen to generate energy is measured by VO2 max. The better your body is at taking in and utilizing oxygen, the more energy it produces and the better it performs.
VO2 max is determined by factors such as lung capacity, how effectively and at what volume your heart pumps blood, and the ability of your vascular system to supply oxygenated blood to your muscles.
Why does it matter for your health?
VO2 max (a measure of aerobic fitness) allows us to assess how much oxygen the body consumes when performing intense activity. It is an excellent tool for assessing total body function and health since it assesses the integration of several body systems.
According to research, VO2 max may be a better indicator of future cardiac events, including heart attacks, than other known traditional risk factors such as smoking, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure (1). Furthermore, VO2 max can be used to predict longevity. According to research, individuals with a higher VO2 max live much longer than those with lower values.
As a result, elevated levels of aerobic fitness are preferable! Even after controlling for other risk variables such as family history, age, and blood pressure increases, higher degrees of physical fitness reduce the overall mortality and morbidity risks (2). Interestingly, obese people with higher levels of fitness have a lower chance of dying young when compared to people who are average weight but have lower levels of physical fitness (3). As a result, even if you're overweight, becoming more physically fit may help protect you from future disease risk.
VO2 max for athletes
Athletes such as CrossFitters, runners, cross-country skiers, swimmers, and rowers can use VO2 max to direct their training. VO2 max is significant because it represents how much oxygen the body needs during exercise at maximum exertion. This formula can be used to calculate the functioning of your central (blood, heart, and lungs) and peripheral (skeletal muscles) variables. In other words, it is the amount of oxygen that your heart may pump and the amount of oxygen that your skeletal muscles may use.
Since a more fit athlete pumps more blood or delivers more oxygen with every heartbeat, an endurance athlete in "better shape" can retain a higher percentage of VO2 max while exercising/competing. With age, there appears to be a decline in cardiac output and changes in skeletal muscle, both of which reduce VO2max. The fractional utilization of VO2 max, denoted as %VO2 max, is the portion of your VO2 max that can be maintained during an exercise event or bout. For instance, novice and professional athletes with nearly the same VO2 max can run a 10K with drastically different %VO2 max values and, consequently, performances.
What is a normal VO2 max?
The typical inactive male has a VO2 max of between 35 and 40 mL/kg/min, while females have a VO2 max of between 27 and 30 mL/kg/min.
On the other hand, elite male runners can achieve a VO2 max of 85 mL/kg/min, whereas elite female runners can achieve 77 mL/kg/min.
Increase your VO2 max supplements by Cerus Performance
There are numerous substances that claim to help increase VO2 max levels. It is critical to select a supplement that is scientifically supported.
Beetroot powder is one of the greatest supplements for raising VO2 max levels. Nitrates included in beetroot powder have been demonstrated to boost VO2 max levels. Caffeine is another wonderful alternative. Caffeine has been demonstrated to boost VO2 max by up to 12% (4).
In third party VO2 Max testing of Flow, by Cerus Performance, some athletes saw as much as a whopping 20% increase in VO2 Max. Flow utilitzes not only beetroot, but also ashwagandha, rhodiola, arjuna and cayenne.
Focus, by Cerus Performance, contains natural caffeine from green coffee bean (along with other herbs and mushrooms that benefit cognition).