Nutrify Performance Nutrition for Women

Everwild Event Recap | Fuel Your Ride: Essential Nutrition Tips for Trailblazing Women

Everwild, a celebration of Women’s Mountain Bike Day was held on a brisk but sunny day last Saturday & multitudes of female riders descended on Hale Reservation in Westwood MA to attend ride clinics, group rides, and to learn. Met some amazing, badass riders, ride leaders, volunteers and women-led businesses and to share some tips on fueling for health & performance. It was an inspiring day!

Wanted to send a special THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by our booth and to the women who participated in our lunch & learn session, Fueling Your Ride: Nutrition Essentials for Women. In case you missed the session or would like to revisit, below is an excerpt and a reminder to reach out & schedule a complimentary information call if you need help dialing in your nutrition strategy.

Fueling Your Ride: Nutrition Essentials for Trailblazing Women

State of the State: Representation of Women in Sports & Exercise Science Research & Why It’s Important

A recent audit of the research found 6% of sports & exercise science studies were focused solely on women. While women represented ~1/3 of participants, sex differences were not typically studied. This is important as there are significant physiological sex differences between men & women, largely due to the systemic impacts of Estrogen & Progesterone, hormones that fluctuate throughout our life-stages, from puberty to menopause and throughout our menstrual cycles. For example, Estrogen influences the physiology of the brain, cardiovascular system, muscles, ligaments/tendons and has been termed a master regulator of metabolism due in part to its role in insulin sensitivity and substrate utilization i.e. which fuels our body uses during exercise. Despite these differences, it is important to acknowledge that there are no evidence-based guidelines for how to fuel (or train) based on the menstrual cycle. But we do have a framework from the Wu Tsai Female Athlete Program on addressing the nutritional needs of female athletes. The framework reinforces two key foundational nutrition principles that have the largest impact: making sure you are eating enough for what you are doing and staying hydrated.

Are You Eating Enough?

Scheduling a comprehensive sports nutrition assessment by a qualified professional is recommended to help you answer this question but there are some actions you can take today to ensure you are eating enough for what you are doing.

Remember to Fill Your Tank: Just like remembering to fill (and refill) your gas tank when taking a long trip, remember that as your rides get longer and more intense, you will need to eat more.

Eat a Balanced Plate: When you sit down for breakfast, lunch & dinner, try to eat a balanced plate with protein, carbs & some fat.

Prioritize Protein: Strive for 1.8g-2.2g/kg of protein/day (note: the upper end of this range = 1g per pound of body weight), spread evenly throughout the day (30-40g in meals, 10-20g in snacks).

Eat Your Carbs: Do not skip/avoid carbohydrates! Carbs are important for exercise performance and for health! Carb intake needs increase with activity level.

Don’t Skip Meals: Try to eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day. Meal planning & strategic meal prep sessions can help ensure you always have nutrient-dense. convenient options for when you are on the go.

Fuel Your Ride: Make it a practice to eat before, during* and after exercise. Women perform better when they are fed! Before: Aim for a carbohydrate-based snack with some protein. *During: Fuel rides >60′ with 30-60g of carbs/hour. Eating small doses with fluid every 20′ & can help avoid onset of GI issues. After: Grab a dose of protein (~30g) and carbs in asap after exercise to help your body recover & replenish carbohydrate (glycogen) stores.

    What about Hydration?

    Nail the Basics: If you are not meeting the dietary reference intake guidelines of at least 2.2L/day of fluid intake (excluding food), start there. Sip fluid throughout the day.

    Start Rides Hydrated: Starting rides hydrated can help your body thermoregulate effectively & allow you to perform at your best. Monitoring your urine color can be helpful (and it’s free!). Aim for a pale yellow color.

    Sweating? Fluid Needs Increase: Not sure how much to drink on your rides? Try measuring your weight before & after rides & if you’ve lost more than 1-2% of your body weight, you will need to drink more during a similar ride. Sweat testing is helpful & can also help you estimate your electrolyte losses.

    Choosing Water vs. Sports Drink: Water is typically sufficient for rides <60′ but make it a practice to use a functional sports drink for sessions >90′.


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