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What is oxygen uptake?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

Oxygen uptake is VO2. It’s the oxygen consumption or uptake per kilogram of body weight. It's the most relevant measure of the cardiorespiratory system. It's the highest rate at which oxygen can be consumed is called VO2Max, distributed and used by the body during exercise. It is determined relative to body weight as millimeters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight.

Oxygen uptake is the transportation and utilization of oxygen in a person during exercise. A common physiological measurement taken is VO2 Max, which measures the maximum capacity at which the individual’s body can transport and utilize oxygen. This measurement indicates one’s personal fitness level. The higher the VO2 Max the better you can transport and use oxygen, which gives you more energy during exercise.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.