Nutrition in sportswomen
Not long ago I wrote an article talking about how it affected menstruation body composition and caloric intake. As a result, I came quite interactions through social networks asking me to please write a guide for women who do sport, both to improve performance and to improve body composition.
- 1 Exercise energy expenditure by women
- 2 Use of intramuscular triglycerides
- 3 Exercise weights in women
- 4 High intensity training in women
- 5 Protein intake in women
- 6 Calorie intake in women
- 7 Common Mistakes in diets for women
- 8 What is the main symptom of extreme caloric deficit?
- 9 How many women should consume carbohydrates?
- 10 What happens to the fat?
- 11 And what about protein?
- 12 Sportswomen
- 13 Ejempo Female Athlete Diet
- 14 Bonus: Muscle Gain in Women
- 15 Conclusions
- 16 Sources
Exercise energy expenditure by women
Although both sexes there are many differences, we will focus especially those that influence hormonal and metabolic level. If you have followed my articles, you know that the use of fat or carbohydrate by the cells will depend largely on exercise intensity. Thus, as you increase the intensity of exercise increases the use of glucose as an energy source, accentuating according to sex.
For women, use more fat as an energy source when they are at rest two, but more glucose when administered pretraining 1
Although there is still no clear explanation why, my theory is that it can be due to:
- Greater amount of testosterone in men 3, and
- a greater amount of IMTG in women.
Testosterone plays a very important role level of muscle gain, as once adolescence in boys get an occurs increased muscle mass, coinciding with higher levels of the hormone in April.
Use of intramuscular triglycerides
Regarding the intramuscular triglycerides (IMTG) are small energy reserves found in our muscles. Studies have shown that these “fat” are higher in women than men, helping to meet energy needs during training in May.
These intramuscular triglycerides are to be found mainly in type I fibers, which are oxidative, so it will allow maintaining performance during long – term exercise 6
IMTG may vary with different protocols such as fasting or ketogenic diet, because by reducing muscle glycogen greater use of them occurs and therefore greater replacement. Thus, we can see how to play with the amount of carbohydrates during pre-season training or some of each to a competition, you can help improve our brands.
Exercise weights in women
As for exercises such as weight training, it was observed that regardless of the level of training, in men there was a decrease in muscle glycogen in both muscle fiber types, something that did not occur in females 8. This is because moderate intensities, women cover their energy needs through fat metabolism, as we saw above.
High intensity training in women
For the result to some extent reoccurs. Lactate levels are 22% lower in women than men 9.
For those who do not know, lactate is a marker indicating us a high-intensity workout. When the presence of oxygen is very low or very high requirement, the body produce’s energy from glucose giving lactate
The phosphocreatine down around an 80%, irrespective of sex and fiber type. Regarding glycogen was observed that women managed to save 50% more glycogen, so you can see that the need of carbohydrates for recovery in women is less than men.
Protein intake in women
This can be a critical point for women, since the current recommendation in athletes is far from reality, where only 26% of women consume the correct amount of protein 10.
A low protein intake will lead to a worse muscle recovery, reduced protein synthesis that will result as greater muscle loss and finally, a greater sense of hunger
Although the requirements depend on the type of exercise, we can say that a contribution between 1.6-1.8g protein / kg body would be right, unlike men that have been observed to 2.3g / kg body may be a correct intake 11.
Calorie intake in women
To understand the nutrition of a sportsman, we must think about the pressure that is submitted by their physical appearance, where advertising and increasingly smaller sizes are boosting the case of anorexics. Obviously this is going to affect caloric intake, as in the case of elite skaters, 30% of them believe they are overweight 12.
Consequence of this poor caloric intake, have been observed deficiencies in vitamin D, E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc. These caloric deficits excessive make our metabolism is slower, active obesogenic mechanisms that will make it easier to gain body fat 13.
For gymnasts and runners elite has been observed that their fat percentages increase 14 which supports my theory that this poor calorie intake in women athlete makes it easier to store fat and harder to gain muscle mass.
Common Mistakes in diets for women
My experience in this field is that most girls who are preparing for contests like Bikini or just prepare for a photo shoot, still very poor diets.
Part of preparers (there is obviously much professional in this sector are not all in the same bag) send diets ranging from 800-1200kcal with a very low intake of carbohydrates and avoiding them after certain hours.
On the other hand, introduced between 1-2 hours of cardio a day, generating a higher caloric expenditure in the short term, but lower long – term (what I call metabolic efficiency). This creates a great metabolic stress, which obviously, will affect different hormones
What is the main symptom of extreme caloric deficit?
Amenorrhoea. Up to 50% of women who exercise have alterations in their menstrual cycle 15.
There are different factors affecting this state such as a very low intake of fat, very low calorie intake, psychological stress (higher levels of cortisol) or metabolic stress for over training.
If you think about it, the woman athlete meet at least 2 of these factors at least. Beside amenorrhea, other side effects like observed lower levels of T4, which will give a worse conversion to T3, resulting in :
- Slower metabolism,
- tiredness, or even
- irritability 16.
To avoid these problems, we must gradually increase the amount of calories, fat and carbohydrates, where the latter helps increase levels of T3, as I have explained in other articles, such as “Metabolic Tomb” …
How many women should consume carbohydrates?
Here `s one of the questions most often repeated among women and least talked about. If you remember at the beginning of this guide, I discussed how women used less glucose as an energy source and resintetizaban less post-workout glycogen, in fact, some studies show as after 4 days of diet high in carbohydrates, the amount of muscle glycogen He did not change 17.
The worst use of carbohydrates as an energy source and worse glycogen replenishment will influence the type of carbohydrates you will choose for them.
In my opinion, the woman athlete must base its source of carbohydrates in unrefined carbohydrates, because by reducing the amount of carbohydrates you should consume, give priority to look for foods high in fiber.
With the intake of carbohydrates, the introduction of refined carbohydrates (IIFYM) becomes a valuable tool. This intake in the case of women would be more than 90% of the required calories, something crazy. In my opinion, I think that an intake around 3g per kg corporal is the right amount for a woman athlete, thus weighing 65 kg sportswomen should consume about 195g of carbohydrates. In the case of male athlete the situation is different as to make greater use of glycogen and increased glycogen re synthesis is allowed to close the intakes 7-8g carbohydrate / kg body 18. If we talk about an athlete of 80 kg this would 640g of carbohydrates.
What happens to the fat?
Knowing that women use more fat as an energy source, the role of this macro nutrient becomes more important. Something curious, and I think I`ve spoken on another occasion, is that as we move from a sedentary lifestyle to a level of high-normal workout, our body goes to oxidize carbohydrates to oxidize more fat, so those women who have spent years training, your lipid metabolism (the fat) is a perfect machine.
Now we know as women use more fat during training through the IMTG (intramuscular triglycerides), we have to see if a high – carbohydrate diet is the best way to fill these “reservations”:
High-Carbohydrate Diet VS Moderate Fat Diet
To this end, a study compared how it affected a diet high in carbohydrates (10% of energy coming from fat) or moderate (35% came from fat) in the recovery of sportsmen girls 19. IMTG reserves again filled with the moderate fat diet at 22h, while high – carb could not even after 70h, reflecting the importance of a diet high in fat female athletes.
Although spending reserves Intramuscular lipid depends on the intensity and duration (getting to spend 70% if the exercise goes 2h), few women fill their tanks for fear of going over calories and increase your body fat percentage.
Ideally meter between 35-40% of total calories as fat 20 especially one that is mono and polyunsaturated, which helps increase fat – free tissue (LBM), and saturated as the coco, of which I spoke recently. What you should never do is reduce fat intake below 15%.
And what about protein?
As you can imagine, protein requirements differ between men and women, where in the first case the requirements are much higher, since protein synthesis is greater in them. In contrast, protein degradation was lower among 21.
The reason why this lower protein degradation occurs is that the woman uses more fat and less carbohydrates during training, as we have previously stressed but can also be for dysmorphism on receptor beta (of which I shall speak on another occasion).
Training with low glycogen stores increases protein breakdown 22 regardless of the levels of cortisol or emotional stress, so that men oxidise more amino acids during training a woman.
This does not mean that women do not have a nitrogen balance negative post-workout or have no need for protein post-workout, on the contrary, women who have a high muscle contraction (For weights) may be benefited by making takes the end of training.
In summary, we note that the following occurs in female athletes:
- Increased use of fat as an energy source, allowing greater savings of muscle glycogen
- Less protein degradation during training, which influence the amount of protein needed ingest
- Greater difficulty gaining muscle mass, which will influence the type of training.
- Different hormonal environment, which will influence the ability to lose body fat.
At this point, it is most difficult for most:
With food that I meet the above guidelines?
Ejempo Female Athlete Diet
Imagine a girl athlete CrossFit :
- You want to lose fat without losing performance.
- 2 workouts performed a making a gentle cardio workout on an empty stomach and a box evening.
One such diet would be as follows:
|Pre Workout: synephrine + Caffeine|
|Post training: pancakes EVOWHEY 20g chocolate, egg whites, 2 ripe bananas accompanied by jam, and a handful of nuts|
|Mid – morning : grilled broccoli with garlic, salt and olive oil + salmon fillet grilled piece of fruit +|
|Food : Tortilla (depending on the amount of protein) accompanied spinach sweet potato slices. Dessert: Fruit salad with cheese and honey smoothie|
|Cross fit training|
|Post-Workout (dinner): salad with tomato, shredded carrots, olives, nuts, chicken strips with spices|
In this way, we ensure:
- Proper “timing”
- greater metabolic flexibility, and
- greater recovery.
Bonus: Muscle Gain in Women
This is probably one of the points that usually interest women whose answer is the simplest. If you remember an article I spoke muscle mass, commented that for a gain of muscle mass diese must be a positive nitrogen balance, or what is the same, there is more protein synthesis muscular degradation.
We know that women have less muscle protein synthesis and degradation, so you have to raise the second to create this “ideal” environment.
The best way this happens is through intense weight work, no more. Although many are afraid to be muscled this will not happen because your elevated estrogen levels prevent this. Estrogen or female sex hormone largely controls energy metabolism, weight and fat distribution.
Thanks to this hormone, women are more sensitive to insulin and therefore your chance of diabetes is lower. Exercise weights is of great interest because it allows putting a greater amount of carb / calorie diet, as it prevents the damaging effects of hyperinsulinemia 23. This increased insulin sensitivity created by both estrogen such as training, will influence our body composition and increased muscle capillary supply level 24, in other words, increases the transport of nutrients to the muscle 25.
In conclusion, we must take advantage of that increased insulin sensitivity by women, for small loads of carbohydrates for a few days of training, and thus achieve a caloric surplus without having a negative impact on our body fat because when the muscle is sensitive to insulin / glucose, glucose will capture our adipocytes only.
With this I leave, and I hope you enjoy this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it.
exercise performed Substrate utilization and without glucose ingestion
With female and male endurance in trained athletes.
Riddell MC1, Partington SL, Stupka N, Armstrong D, Rennie C, Tarnopolsky MA.
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- Endocrine regulation of substrate utilization in women exercise Compared To men.Braun B1, Horton T.
- Gender Differences in protein metabolism.Tipton KD1.
- Myocellular triacylglycerol breakdown in females but not in evils During exercise. Steffensen CH1, Roepstorff C, Madsen M, Kiens B.
- Fiber type composition of the vastus lateralis muscle of young men and women.Staron RS1, Hagerman FC, Hikida RS, TF Murray, Hostler DP, Crill MT, KE Ragg, Toma K.
- Intramuscular substrate utilization During prolonged exercise. Essen B.
- Muscle glycogen utilization fiber-specific in strengthtrained males and females.Bell DG1, Jacobs I.
- Metabolic response in type I and type II muscle fibers During 30-s cycle sprint in men and women. Esbjornsson-Liljedahl M1, Sundberg CJ, Norman B, E. Jansson
- Nutrient intakes and dietary behaviors of male and female Collegiate athletes.Hinton PS1, Sanford TC, Davidson MM, Yakushko OF Beck NC.
- Protein and amino acids for athletes.Tipton KD1, Wolfe RR.
- Food preferences, dieting behaviors, and body image perceptions of elite figure skaters. Jonnalagadda SS 1, PJ Ziegler, Nelson JA
- Metabolic adaptation to weight loss: Implications for the athlete.Eric T Trexler1, Abbie Smith-Ryan1 E * and E Layne Norton
- Relationship Between energy deficits and body composition in elite female gymnasts and runners.Deutz RC1, Benardot D, Martin DE, Cody MM.
- Eating behaviors, nutritional status, and menstrual function in adolescent elite female volleyball players. Beals KA1.
- Thyroid hormone metabolism in muscle Concentrations and amenorrheic and eumenorrheic athletes.Harber VJ1, Petersen SR, Chilibeck PD.
- Carbohydrate metabolism During loading and men and women.Tarnopolsky exercise in MA1, Atkinson SA, Phillips SM, JD MacDougall.
- Gender Differences in carbohydrate loading are related to energy intake.Tarnopolsky MA
- Influence of endurance running and recovery intramyocellular lipid diet on content in women: a 1H NMR study.D. Enette Larson-Meyer
- Effect of diet on the replenishment of intramyocellular lipids after exercise.Decombaz J1, Fleith M, Hoppeler H, R Kreis, C. Boesch
- Gender differences in the regulation of amino acid metabolism. Lamont LS1, McCullough AJ, Kalhan SC.
- Effect of glycogen availability on human skeletal muscle protein turnover During exercise and recovery
- Gender Differences in insulin action after a single bout of exercise. Perreault L1, Lavely JM, Bergman BC, TJ Horton.
- Capillary supply of the quadriceps femoris muscle of man: adaptive response to exercise. Per Andersen and Jan Henriksson
- Mechanism of enhanced insulin sensitivity in athletes. Increased blood flow, glucose transport muscle protein (GLUT-4) concentration, and glycogen synthase activity.