Researchers, including those at the University of British Columbia in Canada, found that women are considerably less exhausted after natural, dynamic muscle exercises than men of similar age and athletic ability.
"We have known for some time that women are less fatigable than men during isometric muscle tests - static exercises where joints do not move, such as holding a weight - but we wanted to find if that is true during more dynamic and practical everyday movements," said Brian Dalton, assistant professor at UBC.
"And the answer is pretty definitive: women can outlast men by a wide margin," he added.
Researchers recruited eight men and nine women that were at a similar level of physical fitness. Participants were asked to flex their foot against a suite of sensors as quickly as they could 200 times.
The speed, power and torque of their movements and electrical activity of their muscles was then captured and recorded over time.
"We chose to measure foot movements because it makes use of calf muscles on the back of the leg, which are essential for practical, everyday tasks like standing and walking," Dalton said.
The team found that males were faster and more powerful at first but became more fatigued much faster than females.
"We know from previous research that for events like ultra-trail running, males may complete them faster but females are considerably less tired by the end," Dalton said.
"If ever an ultra-ultra-marathon is developed, women may well dominate in that arena," he added.
The study was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.