Nutrition in female athletes

Nutrition in female athletes gy maru44 ACKa6pR 03, 2010 | 8 pagos Nutrition in Female Athletes Maria Barousse St. gonaventure University Abstract Nutrition in female athletes is an Issue that has been overlooked for many years; poor nutrition in female athletes is really common for the desire of losing weight to improve performance. Female athletes may diet more aggressively than their non- sporting counterparts and are vulnerable to symptoms such as tiredness, performance plateaus or decreases, burn-out, and repeated injuries. ad nutrition in female athletes is really ommon in gymnasts, figure skaters, runners and female athletes in other sports wherein bod com osition is erceived to play an integral role In pe increasing pressure t percentage. For wo competition is beco ofincreases in accep es are under ever_ org ei oarti _ w ht and body fat s today, the level of nse. This is a result nt for women’s participation, the numbers of women competing successfully, the skill level and expertise, and the value placed on winning.

Given two athletes with the same body type, talent, and strength, if you give the appropriate nutrition to one of them and not the Ether ne, the difference on performance Will be really noticeable. Providing female athletes with the appropriate nutrition is a really important but rather dificult task, due to all the discoveries and improvements that have been going on during the last couple years.

Women competing in college sports have increased significan Swlpe to vlew nexr page significantly during the last couple years. Researchers have demonstrated that women derive significant benefits from exercise, including decreased risks for obesity, hypertension, and type II diabetes mellitus (Reinking ; Alexander, 2005). Some researchers have also found that wornen involved in organized sports are at Iower risk for teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and depression and have a more positive self-image.

In order to design such a program, the female athlete uvill need to understand how the principles of nutrition apply to her as a woman, as an athlete and as an individual. Gymnasts, figure skaters, runners and female athletes in other sports wherein body composition is perceived to play an integral role in performance, are under ever-increasing pressure to maintain specific weight and body fat percentage. Many female athletes are encouraged y coaches to be unrealistically thin (Heffner, Ogles, Gold, Marsden ; Johnson, 2003).

Successful athletes at any level of competition are the product of three factors: heredity, hard work, and nutrition. Heredity is outside our control: the Six foot, large boned woman, most likely Will be more successful engaging in a sport in which height and size are maximized (Reinking ; Alexander, 2005). On the other hand, a comprehensive physical and mental tralning program is undoubtedly the most effective way of enhancing athletic performance (Clement, Schmidt, Berriaix, Covington ; Can, 2004).

Combined with training, the practical application of sound nutritional knowledge, Will not only enhance performance, but among athletes of comparable ability, can also provide the compe performance, but among athletes of comparable ability, can alsa provide the competitive edge needed for success. In the early 1990s, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ACSM had a consensus conference simply to talk about the problem.

Following the conference, research efforts were directed at uncovering the relationship between the prevalence of disordered eating and menstrual irregularities that occur in emale athletes (Greenleaf, Petrie, Carter ; Reeli 2009). It was revealed that when they occur in tandem, irregular menstrual cycles and eating disorders are associated with premature bone loss and osteoporosis. Together, disordered eatin% menstrual dysfunction and decreased bone mineral density became known as the female athlete triad (Heffner, Ogles, Gold, Marsden ; Johnson, 2003).

According to the 1992 ACSM position statement, it is important for coaches and parents to tell female athletes about the female athlete triad syndrome. What can begin with a harmless diet ay develop into a clinically defined disordered eating pattern. Disordered eating can range from moderate restriction of food intake to binge eating and purging to severe food restrictions (Reinking ; Alexander, 2005).

However it is important to understand the difference between clinically defined eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and «disordered» eating patterns, defined as unsafe and flawed practices used to lose weight fast. The use of diuretics, self-induced vomiting, fad diets, fasting and attempts to sweat off weight are examples of techniques used for eight loss that are part of disordered eating p 31_1f8 off weight are examples of techniques used for weight loss that are part of disordered eating patterns.

One of the first signs of the triad is the use of these practices to lose weight (Bissell, 2004). Female athletes may experiment with these techniques occasionally, or as frequently as several times a day. When female athletes want to lose weight and it does not come off quickly enough, they may embrace these techniques. These practices can be classified as harmful eating behaviors that do not result in true weight loss (Berry ; Howe, 2000). When an athlete is developing symptoms of the triad, she is typically exercising intensely while simultaneously reducing her weight.

Some athletes do not see missing their periods as an issue, but neither do they relate missed periods to future damage to their bodies. Estrogen levels are typically Iow during amenorrhea and decreased estrogen levels lead to decreased bone mass and increased cardiac risk (Greenleaf, Petrie, Carter ; Reel, 2009). The prevalence of amenorrhea among the general population is between two and five percent. But among female athletes it has been reported in the ranges of three ercent to 66 percent.

In the new millennium, sports participation by girls and women is growing quickly. New opportunities in both amateur and professional sports once closed to women are now open. Research has proven that physical activo’, including participation in physically demanding sports and activities, is not only healthy, but the exercise and increased strength associated with training for such activity is linked to decreased mortality and an improved psychological outlook. Despit such activity is linked to decreased mortality and an improved psychologlcal outlook.

Despite the interest in healthy exerclse, ixed messages abound (Clement, Schmidt, Berriaix, Covington & Can, 2004). A study performed by the American Association of University Women round the self-esteem of pre- adolescent (middle school) and adolescent girls plummets as much as 30 percent from the self-esteem of girls in elementary school. Although the number of gymnasts affected by the triad is unclear at present, USA Gymnastics has created a task force to examine its response to the female athlete triad.

According to a paper published through the University of Nebraska Extension Office, it may be easy for glrls with symptoms ofthe triad to keep such nformation a secret because information about their menstrual periods and any damage done to bones usually isn’t visible to friends, teammates, coaches and family members (Heffner, Ogles, Gold, Marsden ; Johnson, 2003). For these reasons alone, females found to have one component of the triad should be screened for the other two. Mahle-Lutter concluded by stating that the research is Still not conclusive.

The big picture is that coaches do not know enough about it, but at least they bring it up, and they may be able to refer the female athletes who exhibit these symptoms o appropriate treatment without the panic that all exercising females Will experience this problem (Bissell, 2004). he ACSM position stand warns that female athlete triad occurs not only in elite athletes, but also in physically active girls and women participating in a Wide range of physical activities (Clement, Schmidt, Berriaix, active girls and women participating in a Wide range of physical activities (Clement, Schmidt, Berriaix, Covington ; Can, 2004).

Otis reminds us that fitness professionals are in a great position to make a positive impact on this condition. Physicians have raised concerns about the health of women pecially athletes. It has been shown that disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis have increased in the last couple years. Disordered eating is the most common out ofthe three and can cause many serious problems. If the calorie count is restrictive, it can even affect the menstrual cycle of a woman, leadlng to more serious problems and even sterility (Bissell, 2004).

The causes of disordered eating are many and they involve soclal, psychological, and physiologic factors. In non athletic wornen, disordered eating may be cause by social pressure to the beautiful thin stereotype, family dysfunction, exual abuse, and poor self-steam. In athletes, additional factors that may encourage disordered eating, including self-imposed expectations of athletic perfection and a belief in the inverse relationship between body size and performance (Heffner, Ogles, Gold, Marsden ; Johnson, 2003).

This study did not found more eating disorders in women who particlpate in sports that women who do not; in fact, it was found that women involved in sports are more content with the way their bodies look and therefore have less eating disorder. However, athletes that practice lean sports showed more isordered eating than the other athletes and the non athletes. In general, the results of the study showed that the risk of disordered-eating behav athletes.

In general, the results of the study showed that the risk of disordered-eating behaviors is greater in female athletes than in male athletes; and secondly, that the risk of disordered eating is greater in those sports that emphasize leanness or body image, particularly at higher levels of competition (Berry ; Howe, 2000). Some of the limitations of this student is that all the students interviewed were enrolled in the same university.

Another one is hat the people who participated in the study agreed to it in advance, leaving the open question that if a girl knows they have an eating disorder they might not participate (Reinking ; Alexander, 2005). A way of doing something about this problem would be ifthe athletic department ofthe schools would have informative programs about eating disorders and the dangers that they bring. Also athletes should be checked to make sure they are healthy, because competing at a high level with an eating disorder can cause future serious problems. References Berry, T. , ; Howe, B. 2000). Risk Factors for Disordered Eating in Female University Athletes. Journal of Sport Behavior, 2313), 207. Retneved from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewerñJid=2& Od6b-4353-bf38- ac6556ac05b1 Bissell, K. (2004). Sports Model/Sports Mind: The Relationship Between Entertainment and Sports Media Exposure, Sports Participation, and gody Image Distortion in Division 1 Female Athletes. Mass Communication ; Society, 7(4), 453-472. Retrieved from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdÑiewer/pdfviewerMd-2& http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? id-2& amp;hid=20;sid=62cc78ab- e2ef-4ef9- 5ee-3b1 dea280cc0%40sessionmgr12 Clement, J. , Schmidt, C. , Berriaix, L. , Covington, N. , ; Can, T. (2004). Obesity and Physical Activity in College Women: Implications for Clinical Practice. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 16(7), 291-299. Retrieved from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? vid=2& 8a734312-9094- dl 099f1 b389f%40sessionmgr10 Greenleaf, C. , Petrie, T. , Carter, J. , ; Reel, J. (2009). Female Collegiate Athletes: Prevalencecf Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating Behaviors. Journal of American College Health, 57(5), 489-496.

Retneved from ttp://web. ebscohost. com/ehost/detail? vid=1;hid= nmgrl 1 1 Heffner, J. , Ogles, B. , Gold, E. , Marsden, K, ; Johnson, M. (2003). Nutrition and Eating in Female College Athletes: A Survey of Coaches. Eatlng Disorders, 1 1(3), 209. Retrieved from 3985dab9-7376-46f7-817c-0dcf7322d932%40sessionmgr4 Reinking, M. , ; Alexander, L. (2005). Prevalence of Disordered-Eating Behaviors in Undergraduate Female Collegiate Athletes and Nonathletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 40(1), 47-51. Retrieved from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? e4fbf6bfb69d%40sessionmgr10 81_1f8