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Nutritional Needs of the Female Athlete

Risk and Prevention of Low Energy Availability

Black, Katherine E. PhD1; Baker, Dane F. MSc2; Sims, Stacy T. PhD3

doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000464
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To date most of the research surrounding low energy availability (LEA) and female athletes has focused on the high prevalence rates (2-77%). Despite the severe negative health and performance consequences, awareness of this issue is low. There are potentially a multitude of factors which contribute to the development of LEA across the menstrual cycle and training phases. This review highlights these influences and provides practical tips for those working with female athletes.

1Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

2High Performance Sport New Zealand, National Training Centre, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.

3Adams Centre for High Performance, University of Waikato, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

Corresponding author: Stacy T Sims, 52 Miro Street, Mount Maunganui, NZ stacy.sims@waikato.ac.nz

Katherine Black is a senior lecturer within the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago.

Dane Baker works for High Performance Sport New Zealand where he is part of the WHISPA Group (Healthy Women in Sport a Performance Advantage) and is also a professional fellow at Otago University.

Stacy T. Sims is a senior research fellow at the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance.

© 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association