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    Women’s nutrition

    5 NUTRITIONAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN CYCLIST

    It is obvious that there are physiological differences between men and women. Have you ever thought about how this affects our nutrition when on the bike?

    Here is a list of key differences between men and women and how to manage it:

     

    • A recent study has shown that women riders process 25% more carbs from a sports drink than a male rider.

     

    Carry adequate fuel during your training sessions. Thus be sure to eat or drink a sports drink containing carbs every 30-45 min

     

    • Carbo-loading doesn’t work for women as it does for men. Our bodies don’t have the same ability to store glycogen, turning the carbs into fat rather than energy.

     

    Eat a healthy meal before your ride. Something like: peanut butter and syrup sandwich, oats or a lean cut of meat and veg (be careful not to overeat, you will want to be able to move). 

     

      Eating fewer calories than you burn, might be necessary to lose weight but counting calories often lead to low energy levels. It is essential that you eat enough to fuel yourself especially on longer rides.

         

        Use a calorie counter app like FatSecret or My Fitness Pal to track your calorie intake.

        Mariske Struass warming up for the ABSA Cape Epic
        Mariske Strauss

         

        Nutrients

         

         

          Women athletes are prone to iron deficiencies, especially during their menstrual cycle. This can lead to impaired muscle function, reducing performance. 

             

            Increase the amount of iron-rich foods you eat like red meat, spinach, legumes, etc. 

             

              Calcium is essential for the proper functioning of our heart, muscles, and nerves. The female body is prone to having lower levels of calcium than men. So, ensure you are getting enough calcium in your daily diet. 

                 

                Have 3 – 4 servings of dairy or calcium-rich foods daily. Some examples: milk, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli.

                Jennie Stenerhag warms up for Cape Epic
                Jennie Stenerhag

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