Addressing the Gender Gap in Sports Science

Credit: iStock Whether your favorite sport is swimming, track and field, fencing, field hockey or another of the 33 sports with competitions in Tokyo this summer, watching elite athletes perform is often an awe-inspiring event. You may ask yourself “how do they do that?” as you watch the incredible feats. However, more and more scientists … Continue reading Addressing the Gender Gap in Sports Science

Why Biological Sex Matters in Research Studies

Credit: iStock “Boys are rotten, made out of cotton. Girls are handy, made out of candy.” While this silly elementary schoolyard rhyme is obviously not accurate, the underlying message is true: Males and females are physiologically different in some ways, particularly when it comes to sex organs and hormones. Until recently, however, the majority of … Continue reading Why Biological Sex Matters in Research Studies

COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Disease Prevention May Be the Cure

Credit: iStock The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change our everyday lives while we await the progress of new treatments and vaccines to combat the risks of the illness. People who are pregnant and nursing are more susceptible to severe infections from respiratory viruses, such as the flu. This susceptibility may also put pregnant people at … Continue reading COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Disease Prevention May Be the Cure

It’s Not Your Imagination: Women Have a Harder Time Losing Weight

Credit: iStock Obesity is a major health concern in the U.S. It is predicted that more than half of all adults living in the U.S. will be obese by the year 2030. A major problem with weight loss is that most people regain lost weight over the next year. Exercise has been shown to be … Continue reading It’s Not Your Imagination: Women Have a Harder Time Losing Weight

Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Competitive swimming is a demanding sport that requires maintaining a high level of activity—while partially submerged in the water—without being able to breathe naturally. It’s a sport—like any form of exercise—that may not be suited to everyone. Years of research have shown that competitive swimmers have larger lungs and better lung function than non-swimmers. In … Continue reading Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

Frequent readers of the I Spy Physiology blog will know that topics such as altitude, pregnancy and exercise are some of our favorites to write about. All of these conditions provide a challenge to our body’s homeostasis, or ability of the body to regulate all of its systems and functions. Until recently, scientists did not … Continue reading Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

How Being Male or Female Affects Our Hearts, Kidneys and Waistlines

When it comes to health, men and women aren’t always equal. Biological factors, such as our anatomy and hormones, affect the way our bodies behave when we’re healthy and when we face health challenges. Top researchers who study the influence of biological sex on health and disease gathered earlier this month in Knoxville, Tenn., for … Continue reading How Being Male or Female Affects Our Hearts, Kidneys and Waistlines

Spotlight On: Preeclampsia

Lady Sybil Crawley—the feisty youngest sister of a wealthy British family on the PBS television series “Downton Abbey”—made her way into viewers’ hearts. Devotees of the show were shocked when, in a surprise twist, she died soon after giving birth. Lady Sybil died from high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) that developed into a more … Continue reading Spotlight On: Preeclampsia

The Heart Adapts to the Sex of Heart Transplant Recipients

Whether you are male or female can play a role in your health when it comes to how well you recover and thrive after an organ transplant. Because donated organs are in high demand, the sex of the donor is not taken into consideration when assessing compatibility. However, men and women who receive donated organs … Continue reading The Heart Adapts to the Sex of Heart Transplant Recipients

Do Caffeine and Menstrual Cycles Affect Athletic Performance?

Menstruation and its effect on athletic performance is not often discussed in athletics, even though most female athletes deal with it in their daily lives. However, more researchers have begun to look at this subject, and some are observing how other factors, such as caffeine consumption, could influence a female’s performance during sports. A recent … Continue reading Do Caffeine and Menstrual Cycles Affect Athletic Performance?