Low dosage monophasic oral contraceptive use and intermittent exercise performance and metabolism in humans

N J Lynch, G De Vito, M A Nimmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Nine untrained women using low dosage monophasic oral contraceptives (OC) performed an intermittent treadmill test on two different occasions within one pill-cycle to determine the effect of OC on performance and some commonly used metabolic markers. The first test was performed after 5-8 days of resuming the OC agents after menstrual bleeding while the other test was performed after 19-21 days. Performance time on the final exhausting run of six intermittent high intensity 20 s runs was no different between trials [mean days 5-8: 22.3 (SEM 1.2) s vs days 19-21: 22.7 (SEM 1.1) s]. There was no difference in heart rate [peak heart rate days 5-8: 183 (SEM 3) beats.min-1 vs days 19-21: 186 (SEM 2) beats.min-1], oxygen consumption during any run [run 5 of days 5-8: 1,392 (SEM 51) ml.min-1 vs run 5 of days 19-21: 1,494 (SEM 3) ml.min-1] or in any of the metabolic variables measured at any time in venous blood [peak blood lactate concentration days 5-8: 8.4 (SEM 0.3) mmol.l-1 vs days 19-21: 8.1 (SEM 0.5) mmol.l-1; peak blood glycerol concentration days 5-8: 0.39 (SEM 0.02) mmol.l-1 vs days 19-21: 0.38 (SEM 0.02) mmol.l-1; resting free fatty acids concentration days 5-8: 0.25 (SEM 0.05) mmol.l-1 vs days 19-21: 0.29 (SEM 0.07) mmol.l-1; peak blood glucose concentration days 5-8: 6.7 (SEM 0.5) mmol.l-1 vs days 19-21: 6.6 (SEM 0.2) mmol.l-1; peak capillary blood ammonia concentration days 5-8: 139 (SEM 18.3) mumol.l-1 vs days 19-21: 170 (SEM 18.0) mumol.l-1]. These results suggest neither intermittent high intensity exercise performance nor energy metabolism change between days 5-8 and days 19-21 of a low dosage monophasic OC pill during one pill-cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-301
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Estradiol Congeners
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion


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