Impact of alterations in total hemoglobin mass on VO 2max

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2010 Apr;38(2):68-75. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e3181d4957a.


Training and hypoxia-associated changes in maximal oxygen uptake are mediated by different blood adaptations. Training increases blood volume because of plasma and red cell volume expansion, resulting in increased cardiac output, whereas hypoxia increases only red cell volume, leading to increased hemoglobin concentration and oxygen transport capacity. Blood doping mimics the altitude effects, however, by far exceeding its magnitude.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Altitude
  • Blood Volume / physiology
  • Doping in Sports
  • Erythropoietin / pharmacology
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Hemoglobins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin