Many women athletes are chronically underfed, whether it’s because they’re afraid to eat; they’re in a constant state of trying to lose weight (a.k.a. afraid to eat), or they are unknowingly under fuelling themselves because they just don’t realize how much energy and nutrition they need.
Let’s hear from Dr. Stacy Sims about the problem
Researchers reviewed 42 studies published between 2013 and 2020 that examined the effects of deficits in total calories, protein, and vitamins and minerals on performance. They found that not only were women more likely to be deficient in these key nutrients, but also between 30 and 70 percent of the women in the studies were energy deficient.
This paves the way for low energy availability and RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport), which, as you know, increases your risk for low bone density and injuries like stress fractures, as well as mood disorders and, of course, poor performance and recovery.
Sometimes women end up in this type of undernourished state because they’ve been restricting food for years (maybe most of their lives) and they are afraid to eat enough. Other times, women can inadvertently under fuel because they start performing more high-intensity exercise, but since they’re working out for a relatively short amount of time, they don’t register that they need to eat more to support that harder type of training. They also may not feel as hungry right away, because their appetite is blunted by the intense exercise. So they go about their day and end up in a hole. So many women barely achieve their resting metabolic rate needs (~1300-1400kcals) - the amount of calories needed to just lie on the couch watching Netflix, let alone eat enough for life and training.
As an active woman you need to eat enough, being sure to consume a well-rounded diet that includes ample amounts of fruits and vegetables and all your macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates).
Have you been tracking your training in the WILD.AI app? If not you’re missing out on personalized recommendations for fuelling your workouts based on research done by leading experts like Dr. Stacy Sims. Many women who have started using our app find that they are improving their body composition, recovery, and performance by eating more….because women do better in a fed state.
Content in this blog article is used with permission from Dr. Stacy Sims, who is a founding partner of the Wild team.
Read the full article here