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There are virtually no studies examining the female response to exercise in the cold, let alone evaluating the influence of alcohol ingestion. Six women were tested twice, placebo and alcohol, (2.5 ml, 40% alcohol,/kg) during menses and similarly twice during the luteal phase of the cycle. In each experiment the subject performed mild, intermittent exercise in a — 5°C environment for 3 hours. The data were compared to previous work with males using the same protocol. The women had colder skin and mean body temperatures (p < 0.05) than the men in both the control and alcohol tests. Alcohol caused lower body temperatures and blood glucose levels (p < 0.05). Although the women had greater blood alcohol levels (p < 0.05), they did not have more pronounced effects. The data indicated that the greater rate of cooling by the women was not influenced by menstrual cycle fluctua­tions in hormones nor was it strongly related to body dimensions such as body fat or body surface area. It was concluded that the women were at a disadvantage predominantly because of their smaller mass.