Purpose To explore sex-based differences in energy substrate utilization during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise; to identify the underpinning candidate physiological mechanisms. Methods Three databases were searched from inception to August 2020. Pertinent studies quantifying the utilization of substrates during moderate aerobic exercise in healthy men and reproductive-age women were considered. Studies conducted on sedentary/recreationally active and athletic populations were included and analyzed separately. Results Thirty-five studies entered the meta-analysis (21 in sedentary/recreationally active, 14 in athletic populations). Compared to women, the respiratory exchange ratio was significantly higher both in sedentary (mean difference, MD: + 0.03; p < 0.00001) and athletic men (MD: + 0.02; p < 0.0001). Greater carbohydrate oxidation was observed both in sedentary (standardized MD, SMD: 0.53; p = 0.006) and athletic men (SMD: 1.24; p < 0.00001). Regarding lipid substrates, sedentary men oxidized less fat than women (SMD: − 0.77; p = 0.0002), while no sex-based differences in fat oxidation were observed in athletes (SMD: 0.06; p = 0.77). Paucity of data prevented robust meta-analyses for protein sources. Sex hormones and different adrenergic activation were the most cited mechanisms to discuss sex-based differences. Conclusions Meta-analyses confirmed that men display greater reliance on carbohydrates while women rely more on lipids to sustain moderate aerobic exercise. The latter finding was not confirmed in athletes, a novel aspect of the present study. Mechanistically driven research is needed to further dissect the physiological underpinnings of sex differences in substrate utilization during aerobic exercise, especially for proteins, which are still less investigated than other substrates.

Analysis of sex-based differences in energy substrate utilization during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise / Cano, Antonella; Ventura, Lucia; Martinez, Gianluca; Cugusi, Lucia; Caria, Marcello; Deriu, Franca; Manca, Andrea. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 1439-6319. - 122:1(2022), pp. 29-70. [10.1007/s00421-021-04802-5]

Analysis of sex-based differences in energy substrate utilization during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Cano, Antonella;Ventura, Lucia;Martinez, Gianluca;Cugusi, Lucia;Caria, Marcello;Deriu, Franca
;
Manca, Andrea
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose To explore sex-based differences in energy substrate utilization during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise; to identify the underpinning candidate physiological mechanisms. Methods Three databases were searched from inception to August 2020. Pertinent studies quantifying the utilization of substrates during moderate aerobic exercise in healthy men and reproductive-age women were considered. Studies conducted on sedentary/recreationally active and athletic populations were included and analyzed separately. Results Thirty-five studies entered the meta-analysis (21 in sedentary/recreationally active, 14 in athletic populations). Compared to women, the respiratory exchange ratio was significantly higher both in sedentary (mean difference, MD: + 0.03; p < 0.00001) and athletic men (MD: + 0.02; p < 0.0001). Greater carbohydrate oxidation was observed both in sedentary (standardized MD, SMD: 0.53; p = 0.006) and athletic men (SMD: 1.24; p < 0.00001). Regarding lipid substrates, sedentary men oxidized less fat than women (SMD: − 0.77; p = 0.0002), while no sex-based differences in fat oxidation were observed in athletes (SMD: 0.06; p = 0.77). Paucity of data prevented robust meta-analyses for protein sources. Sex hormones and different adrenergic activation were the most cited mechanisms to discuss sex-based differences. Conclusions Meta-analyses confirmed that men display greater reliance on carbohydrates while women rely more on lipids to sustain moderate aerobic exercise. The latter finding was not confirmed in athletes, a novel aspect of the present study. Mechanistically driven research is needed to further dissect the physiological underpinnings of sex differences in substrate utilization during aerobic exercise, especially for proteins, which are still less investigated than other substrates.
2022
Analysis of sex-based differences in energy substrate utilization during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise / Cano, Antonella; Ventura, Lucia; Martinez, Gianluca; Cugusi, Lucia; Caria, Marcello; Deriu, Franca; Manca, Andrea. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 1439-6319. - 122:1(2022), pp. 29-70. [10.1007/s00421-021-04802-5]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/248639
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