Uncoupling proteins 2 and 3 (UCP2 and UCP3) as mitochondrial electron transporters are involved in regulation of ATP production and energy dissipation as heat. Energy efficiency plays an important role in physical performance, especially in aerobic fitness. The aim of this study was to examine the association between maximal oxygen uptake and genetic variants of the UCP2 and UCP3 genes. The studies were carried out in a group of 154 men and 85 women, professional athletes representing various sports and fitness levels and students of the University of Physical Education in Poznań. Physiological and molecular procedures were used, i.e. direct measurement of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) and analysis of an insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism in the 3'untranslated region of exon 8 of the UCP2 gene and a C>T substitution in exon 5 (Y210Y) of the UCP3 gene. No statistically significant associations were found, only certain trends. Insertion allele (I) of the I/D UCP2 and the T allele of the UCP3 gene were favourable in obtaining higher VO2max level and might be considered as endurance-related alleles.