There are many physiological differences between males and females
Performance depends on:
Adipose (fat) tissue
Low calcium intake
Further detail: Iron deficiency Q1-2
Iron deficiency and menstrual problems are closely linked. Females need twice as much iron as males and this is due to the blood loss during menstruation, females also tend to eat less red meat than men. Iron is important in the blood to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide and in important muscular and energy producing chemical reactions.
Women: 12-16mg Men: 5-7mg
Further detail: Low Calcium intake Q3-5
Calcium deficiency is associated with osteoporosis and is also required for bone strength and in the blood to allow the muscles and nerves to function correctly. Causes of calcium deficiency in bones include the hormonal changes associated with menopause and inadequate calcium in the diet. Athletes with amenorrhea are also prone to calcium deficiency.
Men and Women: 800mg After Menopause:1100mg
Further Detail: Eating disorders Q6-8
Eating disorders and sport are often linked because they share similar characteristics relating to weight control, food intake and physical activity levels. Disordered eating leads to both starvation and dehydration which ultimately hinder sporting performance.
Anorexia nervosa is common, particular among female athletes who are involved in appearance sports such as gymnastics and figure skating.
Interesting Facts… Q9-10
Vitamin C enhances the uptake of iron absorption. (Orange juice with meat are a good combination).
Calcium (and phosphorus) reduce the absorption of plant sourced iron.
Vitamin and mineral deficiency
The effectiveness of protein supplements
Further Detail: Vitamin and Minerals Q11-12
Men are more predominant to suffer from Vitamin and mineral deficiency in sport as they are not associated with the benefits they portray. Vitamins are not an energy source however they are important in the body as they assist in releasing this energy.
Further Detail: Protein Supplements Q13-14
Many athletes, particularly males, have attempted to increase protein intake to increase protein repair and bulk. However if protein levels increase at the expense of carbohydrates, the opposite can occur as protein will become a dominant energy source.