Menopause for Runners

Don’t miss our podcast episode with Dr. Stacy Sims -a physiologist, nutrition scientist, and expert on sports performance for female athletes who are in perimenopause and postmenopause.

Stacy explains the challenges that women runners face in the perimenopause period and beyond; and what measures they can take to offset the downsides that come with aging (like loss in muscle mass, reduced bone density, and weight gain). 

Interview with Dr. Stacy Sims

Stacy T. Sims, Ph.D, is an applied researcher, innovator, and entrepreneur in human performance, specifically sex differences in training, nutrition, and environmental conditions. She served as an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist at Stanford University from 2007 to 2012, where she specialized in sex differences with environmental and nutritional considerations for recovery and performance, specializing in women’s health and performance.

Her contributions to the international research environment and the sports nutrition industry has established a new niche in sports nutrition; and established her reputation as the expert in sex differences in training, nutrition, and health. She is a Senior Research Associate at AUT University and resides in New Zealand with her family.

Interview Questions

  • For listeners who are not familiar with the terms, can you break down what perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause is?
  • Women in the perimenopausal and menopausal period are sometimes referred to as the “forgotten athlete.” Why is this group often overlooked and underestimated?
  • What are some of the main challenges that women runners in the peri-menopause period and beyond face?
  • What measures can women take to offset some of the downsides (like less muscle mass, reduced bone density, and weight gain) that often come with aging?
  • You talk about how you follow a plant centered diet. What is the difference between plant centered and being plant based and how can this type of eating plan be beneficial?
  • Stress incontinence during exercise is something that can affect women of all ages. How prevalent is stress incontinence? What advice do you have for women who are dealing with this issue?
  • You’ve stated that post-workout fueling matters more for women than for men. How common is it for women to under fuel? What should we be aiming for in terms of what to eat and when?
  • I’ve seen you state that 15-35% of female athletes are iron deficient? What are the reasons for this and what do you recommend when it comes to bringing those iron levels up?

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