Ever feel like the pop science recommendations aren’t serving you in your training, racing, or recovery? You’re likely right! Research is predominantly conducted on men, gravely missing the mark for most female athletes.
There are many beliefs we have about exercise science that seem to be proven out. We propagate these “truths” among athletes, coaches, and educators. Some common ones include:
- Carb loading the day before a race
- Fasted training for weight loss
- Stick to low weight, high rep lifting
- Increase training volume to improve performance
The reality is, all of those are false for women. Why? The differences are due to the hormonal changes, along with other key physiological differences in women.
Not only do changes occur within each cycle, but women also experience a hormonal shift throughout their lifetimes. All phases including puberty, peri menopause, and post menopause are unique in a women’s life. Training and fueling should vary accordingly.
I’ll be the first to point out that I am no expert in this field. But I recognize how much we have to gain by educating ourselves and openly discussing these topics.
That’s why I invited a world-renowned researcher, who specialized in exercise physiology and nutrition for women. If you are a woman or know one, I highly recommend today’s podcast.
Why Dr. Stacy Sims Set Out to Research Women
Dr. Stacy Sims in a researcher, entrepreneur, and scientist with expertise in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Through her work, she emphasizes the sex differences between male and female athletes and focuses on how women can understand and use their physiology to perform their best.
Everything from training to fueling has predominantly been researched on men and written about by men. Women’s hormonal variations tend to skew research data so those results are often thrown out.
As a professional athlete, Stacy recognized that she was poorly served by the same recommendations that male athletes were getting. So she set out to change that through her work.
Dr. Stacy Sims Approach to Training with the Cycle
She has written a book called ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body For Life where she breaks down her message that “women are not small men”. Women can learn to cater their training, nutrition, and hydration when they understand the changes they go though in their cycles.
You can get an introduction to her work to the now famous TED Talk titled “Women are Not Small Men”.
In our conversation today, we talk about:
- Nutrition recommendations throughout a menstrual cycle and different phases of life
- RED-S syndrome with strategies for prevention and treatment
- Changes that women undergo during peri and post menopause
- Common differences between men and women in training and nutrition
- The future of exercise physiology research
Stacy also breaks down the menstrual cycle and explains how training can be structured accordingly:
Enjoy the full episode and see all the resources listed below.
Links & Resources from the Show:
- Learn about courses and coaching resources from Dr. Stacy Sims
- Follow her on Instagram and Facebook
- WILD.AI coaching platform
- High Performance Sport New Zealand organization
- Kathryn Ackerman at Boston Children’s Hospital
Thank You XOSKIN!
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