Something that isn’t talked about much (but should be) is the issue of Reproductive Health in females, especially those who compete in sports or fitness events that require high volumes of training, limited food intake and ultra low levels of body fat.
Surprisingly there is a wide spread belief that loss of a period or irregularity in cycles is a perfectly normal trait of strength training or getting lean. In fact I’ve come across many individuals who claim their coaches have congratulated them on losing their period, WTF!
This creates the perception that once periods have returned it is a sign of “getting fat again”, which can kick start a whole host of depressive thoughts and disordered eating.
Research has shown the causes are more likely correlated to an inefficient amount of energy availability (dietary energy intake minus exercise induced energy expenditure) REGARDLESS OF BODY FAT.
If you are chronically under eating and over training your body does not have the means to exert further energy to meet all of its demands, including reproduction.
The clinical condition under which this occurs is called Amenhorrea, which is directly related to decreases in bone density, which makes you more prone to stress fractures/osteoporosis (and may not be fully reversible)
No matter how lean your back or abs look long term loss of your period isn’t cool!
Thought it may be unavoidable during phases of pre contest, or photoshoot preparation, the goal should be to KEEP IT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE and directly after reagin your reproductive function by increasing calorie intake and decreasing exercise volume.
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