The volume of oxygen (usually in litres or millitres) used by the body in a given time (usually one minute). If the oxygen content of the body remains constant, the oxygen uptake equals the volume of oxygen utilized in the metabolic oxidation of foodstuffs. Oxygen uptake reflects the ability of the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the tissues, and the ability of the tissues to extract oxygen from the blood. Therefore, oxygen uptake of a particular tissue is a product of cardiac output and arterial-venous oxygen difference. The oxygen uptake of the whole body is a product of cardiac output and the arterial mixed-venous oxygen difference. See also maximal oxygen uptake.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.