Help us: Donate
Follow us on:



Lifespan News – Exercise, Metformin, and VO2max

Exercise has less of a positive effect on people taking metformin.

LSN Metformin VO2maxLSN Metformin VO2max

This episode of Lifespan News features Ryan O’Shea discussing a recent study showing that metformin blunts the impact of exercise on performance.


Metformin is a commonly prescribed diabetes drug, but it is also popular among biohackers and life extensionists who take it for what they believe to be its longevity benefits. While this use is still being investigated, news studies indicate that taking metformin may have some drawbacks, including a new study indicating metformin decreases the gains in respiratory performance brought on by exercise.

Previous studies have shown that respiratory fitness, as defined by an increase in VO2max, may have an impact in preventing hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes, although the associated weight loss is also likely to contribute. The researchers of this study sought to determine if metformin impairs gains in VO2max the way it impairs muscle growth, as has been suggested by previous studies.

This study focused on the people most likely to be taking metformin: people with metabolic syndrome. A total of 72 overweight or obese men and women with an average age of 53 were separated based on whether they were taking metformin or not. 63 of these people were able to complete 16 weeks of high-intensity interval training, which focuses on exercise sessions that maximize heart rate in order to increase cardiovascular and respiratory performance. Metabolic syndrome, respiration, and blood glucose were among the biomarkers assessed. However, this was not a placebo-controlled study, and the baseline characteristics of the two groups were different.

Both groups were positively affected in every measurement of VO2max, but the researchers’ hypothesis was correct: the improvements brought on by the exercise in this respect were significantly blunted in people taking metformin. While there was no significant difference in baseline measurements, the people who did not take metformin had better respiratory performance than the people who did.

Regardless of these results, it may be unwise to cease taking metformin if you were prescribed it by your doctor. As an inhibitor of blood glucose, metformin is prescribed for reasons that often outweigh the concerns raised in this study – but you should certainly ask your doctor any questions you may have.

But this study does illustrate a potential issue with metformin, particularly when it comes to people who would use it to augment their health rather than to treat an existing condition.

Previous studies do show that at least some cohorts do not experience reduced mortality. However, many believe that this drug is still worth exploring as a longevity drug, which is why the team at is working to support the long-awaited Targeting Aging with Metformin trial, or TAME trial. I am very much looking forward to the results of this study, and it should answer many lingering questions that we currently have.

When there’s more to share, we’ll have it for you here so please subscribe so you don’t miss out. I’m Ryan O’Shea, and we’ll see you next time on Lifespan News!

We would like to ask you a small favor. We are a non-profit foundation, and unlike some other organizations, we have no shareholders and no products to sell you. We are committed to responsible journalism, free from commercial or political influence, that allows you to make informed decisions about your future health.

All our news and educational content is free for everyone to read, but it does mean that we rely on the help of people like you. Every contribution, no matter if it’s big or small, supports independent journalism and sustains our future. You can support us by making a donation or in other ways at no cost to you.

Lifespan News – Bryan Johnson Speech

Bryan Johnson made some controversial statements about AI and the future of humanity at the recent Healthspan Summit, and Emmett...

Lifespan News – GPT-4 for Medicine

On this episode of Lifespan News, Emmett Short discusses how GPT-4 is making waves in the medical field. Script Hands...

Lifespan News – Young Blood for Brain Boosting

This episode of Lifespan News, presented by Emmett Short, discusses a study showing that the brains of old mice benefit...

Lifespan News – Exercise and Supplements

Emmett Short talks about a recent meta-study of exercise and supplements on this episode of Lifespan News. Script We all...

  1. ohad
    July 12, 2022

    are the findings for taking metformin specifically on workout days, or taking it at all?

Write a comment:


Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.