If Young Female Athletes Want to Thrive, They Need a Lot More Food
A low-carbohydrate diet made Regan Detweiler vulnerable to stress fractures. She started to eat better and she is filling better now.
According to Women’s Sports Foundation since 1972 there are 560% more girls and young women participating in sports and 990% among college students.
Athletes Want to Thrive
Today highly committed female athletes run track, play basketball, soccer, water polo and other demanding sports. Many of these athletes don’t eat enough to satisfy the demands of the body for those sports.
These athletes face a danger called female athlete triad syndrome. The symptoms include: low energy, low bone density and irregular menstrual cycles.
Athletes come in any shape, form or weight so we can’t specify which body type has bigger risk for this female athlete triad syndrome.Today many primary care doctors can’t recognize the syndrome on their patients.
For example, Regan Detweiler run track and cross country, she used to train all year long-running for 35-40 miles a week. She also use to have low-carb diet.
Regan’s Daily Menu Was:
- Breakfast – cup of yogurt and coffee
- Lunch – peanut butter sandwich with no crust
- Dinner- small serving of veggies and meat
With this diet Regan says that she was hungry all the time. She menstruated once every 6 months or so.In high school during her sophomore she suffered a stress fracture in her right shin.
She was off the running and wore a protective boot for a month. Doctors ordered a density scan because in her junior year she also suffered a fracture this time on her left shin. The result of the density scan was: female athlete triad syndrome.
She was surprised when doctors and nutritionist told her that she needed food variety and a lot more calories- 3 snacks and bigger meals.
Dr. Matzkin says that every time a female athlete comes to her office she asks her about nutrition and menstruation.Eating enough isn’t the only thing.
Eating the right staff like fruits, veggies, foods rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein, is critical for building bones. Women lose bone density because of hormonal changes bit by bit every year.
This means women can build up bones up to about age 25.Young athletes who have lost their bone can rebuild some, but they can never be where they might have been.
Detweiler today eats a healthy diet and she credits Jessica Buschmann for helping her to achieve that. Buschmann says that young athletes need 3500 calories a day if they train for hours and hours every day.
This can be scary for a teenage girl that is worried about her body image.Buchmann also says that if these girls don’t input the required amount of calories they put their body on risk.
Regan Detwieler embraced Buschmann’s diet plan. Three solid meals and three snacks a day. She still eats peanut butter sandwiches but she eats the bread crusts too. Her menstruation is regular now and her bone density scan is also improved.