Getty Images | Jeff Bergen

Study Finds Being Pregnant Is Like Running A 40-Week Marathon

If you've ever been pregnant, then you know that it is hard work.

People underestimate how much a woman's body goes through during pregnancy, and how much energy is being used by the mom-to-be. There's a reason why pregnant women are always tired, folks!

Now a new study has confirmed what moms knew all along: that being pregnant basically requires the same amount of energy as high-intensity sports like running a marathon.

If you've ever gone through a pregnancy, the findings of this new study might not surprise you.

Unsplash | Ignacio Campo

A new study published in Science Advances set out to explore the maximum amount of energy a human can spend.

The study looked at the relationship between how much energy a body uses during extreme events such as marathons, or even pregnancy, and the duration of the event.

Interestingly, pregnant women have a similar metabolic rate to athletes competing in events like Race Across America.

Unsplash | freestocks.org

The average pregnant woman has a metabolic rate of 2, while an athlete competing in Rcae Across America has a metabolic rate of 2.4.

The study examined extreme sporting events like the Tour de France and Race Across The USA.

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Researchers found that during these extreme conditions, your body will find ways to conserve energy, even as you're being pushed to the limit.

The longer the event lasts, the lower your metabolic rate will be as your body cannot operate at its maximum rate for long periods of time.

Researchers believe our metabolic cap could be part of the reason why humans have such high endurance abilities.

Unsplash | Anthony Tran

As a species, humans have long pregnancies and our babies are large compared to other apes. We also happen to have the greatest endurance capabilities.

Scientists aren't quite sure what the exact relationship is between these two pieces of data, but there is a good chance that they somehow are related.

So there you have it, being pregnant is basically an extreme sport.