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Is There a Role for Blood Viscosity in Explaining Athletic Performance?

Exercise is one of the best ways to lower cardiovascular risk and improve blood flow.  A new study at The Ohio State University suggests that blood viscosity and red blood cell rigidity, key measures of blood flow, are significantly higher in resistance/weight trained athletes than aerobically trained athletes after maximal exercise.  These findings suggest that aerobically trained individuals have blood which favors oxygen transport and delivery while resistance trained athletes do not.  The authors, Smith et al. stated that hematocrit alone, the amount of red blood cells suspended in the blood, "should not be the focus of training and ergogenic supplementation to increase aerobic performance."    


Smith MM, Lucas AR, Hamlin RL, Devor ST. Associations among hemorheological factors and maximal oxygen consumption. Is there a role for blood viscosity in explaining athletic performance? 


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