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VO2 Max

VO2 Max refers to the maximal oxygen consumption during exercise, and is thought to reflect the abilities of the cardiorespiratory system (heart and lungs) to handle high intensity cardiovascular exercise (anaerobic exercise).

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect vo2 max
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Minor Low See all 6 studies
Improvements in VO2 max are not wholly reliable, and appear to be low in magnitude.
grade-b - Moderate See all 5 studies
Effects on VO2 max are highly unreliable and not currently thought significant.
grade-b - Very High See all 6 studies
All studies assessing the effects of colostrum in athletes subject to cardiovascular training have failed to find any difference between colostrum and whey protein (control) for influencing VO2 max.
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
There is no evidence to support an improvement of VO2 max when fish oil is consumed alongside an exercise routine
grade-b - High See all 7 studies
For the most part, peak VO2 consumption is not significantly influenced by supplemental sodium bicarbonate (although VO2 kinetics that are not referring to VO2 max may be influenced somewhat)
grade-c Minor Very High See all 3 studies
A slight increase in VO2 max has been detected in otherwise untrained persons and in elite cyclists.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
An increase in VO2 max of untrained persons has been noted following CoQ10 supplementation.
grade-c Minor - See study
Not an astounding increase in VO2 max, requires replication.
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in VO2 max has been noted in untrained persons
grade-c Minor - See study
150mg resveratrol taken shortly after a workout appears to hinder the improvements in VO2 max seen with exercise alone; effects of resveratrol at other times uncertain.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on VO2 max ratings
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on VO2 max in otherwise healthy persons.
grade-c - - See study
In postmenopausal women, curcumin supplementation does not improve VO2 max.
grade-c - - See study
No detectable influence on VO2 max associated with carnitine supplementation
grade-c - - See study
May slightly improve oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise in untrained persons, but overall the improvement in VO2 max does not appear to be highly potent or reliable.
grade-c - - See study
Although a minor increase in oxygen uptake was noted in certain situations (final sprint of testing), overall VO2 max is not significantly affected.
grade-c - - See study
Does not appear to have a role in altering VO2 max
grade-c - - See study
Supplementation of yerba mate prior to a VO2 max test does not appear to have any effect relative to placebo.
grade-d Minor - See study
Possible increases in VO2 max, but requires more evidence to ascertain potency and reliability
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on VO2 max in trained athletes
grade-d - - See study
Despite a reduction in endurance (cycling until voluntary failure) the measured VO2 max between groups did not differ.