What does it mean to train like a woman? How does women’s menstrual cycle affect athletic training and performance?
In this episode of the Align Podcast, I’m honored to host one of the world’s leading experts in female physiology and sports nutrition, Dr. Stacy Sims. We have an awakening conversation on the power of tracking women’s menstrual cycles not only for optimal sports training and performance, but also for a deeper understanding of what women have to consistently go through.
Arguing that sports and fitness science is designed from a cis-male’s perspective, Dr. Stacy lays out the complexities of female physiology and why it merits a whole different approach. She explains how to track menstrual cycles so women can plan their own training based on their cycle metrics. Knowing these patterns allows women and coaches to leverage hormonal changes and identify the best days for steady-state work, high-intensity session, and recovery period.
Plus, Dr. Stacy shares what trainings can be done during high-hormone and low-hormone phases, the best food to eat during each phase, and essential training advice for young girls. She also debunks popular myths around menstrual cycles: Does ovulation predispose women to ACL injuries? Is having sex really a no-no during red days?
Dr. Stacy Sims is an Environmental Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Scientist specializing in gender differences. She’s also an innovator, entrepreneur, and author.
What we discuss:
0:00 – Introduction to Dr. Stacy Sims
6:00 – Gender bias in sports training & other reasons she studied female physiology
10:00 – What causes menstrual cycles?
18:00 – Low-hormone phase + why women need more protein than men
23:10 – Ovulation + why women crave carbohydrates on their period
30:00 – Most important lessons from her years of research & experience
32:30 – Debunking myths: Are women more likely to tear their ACL on their period?
44:30 – Training recommendation during the luteal phase
47:30 – Debunking myths: can women have sex on their period?
50:00 – How sexual contraception affects athletic training & performance
58:00 – Dealing with irregular cycles & amenorrhea among athletes
Learn more from Dr. Stacy Sims:
The revised version of the Align Method book is now available with 22 brand-new exercises!
Pre-order here: https://www.alignpodcast.com/alignbook.