Top 5 Tips for Female Athletes from Performance Nutritionist Kate McDaid
1.Meet your energy demands
Under fuelling can be a common mistake made by both men and women. Coming up short when it comes to energy intake can have repercussions for both health and performance; low mood, poor coordination and concentration, menstrual dysfunction, illness, recurring injuries, the list continues. Remember we need energy to survive with extra energy demands coming into the mix the more active we are (both with training and away from it). These needs are very individual so like all things, recognise yourself for the individual you are. It'll stand to you.
2. Carbohydrates, they are your friend
Carbohydrates are extremely important for performance as well as for our hormonal health as females. Carbohydrates are an essential part of your diet, the more active you become, the more prominent of a role they should have.
3. Protein is on Your side
Why is protein important for women? Whether you're looking to improve your body composition, strength or optimise your recovery, meeting your protein requirements are key. Supporting our muscle mass will not only support our strength but will in turn support our bone health too.
Such an underrated tool for excellent performance. It influences everything from food choices to growth, decision making to recovery. Take pride in both how long you sleep but also the quality of that sleep. How can you improve your sleep? Keep an eye on Caffeine (can be detrimental) and carbohydrate (can be beneficial) as both are important areas of consideration on a nutritional front.
5. Know your flow
What impact does your period have on performance? Well, as females getting more accustomed to our menstrual cycle is important to help us recognise what supports we need in place each month. One important aspect is recognising your flow; iron is an important factor here as iron losses may increase with a heavier period (i.e. heavier blood loss on or off the pill). Iron supports energy production and carries oxygen around our body so it's a mineral we want to make sure we're getting enough of.