This work investigates if human mitochondrial variants influence on maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2max)). With this purpose we recruited, as a uniform population in term of nutritional habits and life style, 114 healthy male Spanish subjects that practiced fitness exercises 3-4 times a week. Once mtDNA haplogroups were determined, we found that J presents with lower VO(2max) (P=0.02) than nonJ variants. J has been related with a lower efficiency of electron transport chain (ETC), diminished ATP and ROS production. Thus, the difficult to compensate the mitochondrial energetic deficiency could explain the accumulation of J haplogroup in LHON and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, the lower ROS production associated to J could also account for the accrual of this variant in elderly people consequent to a decreased oxidative damage.