April 27, 2021

27: How Women Should be Working with Their Body with Dr. Stacy Sims

27: How Women Should be Working with Their Body with Dr. Stacy Sims

Today I'm chatting with the author of Roar: Women Are Not Small Men. She is the leading global expert on female physiology and endurance training. So if you are a woman, if you coach women, if you have a wife that's training, if you're interested in wooing an endurance woman, you have to go check out her Instagram @DrStacySims and go learn some stuff. In this episode, we talk about the differences between men and women, and we talk about how your menstrual cycle can be an ergogenic aid and what actually that means. We study the iron levels in women as well as low energy availability and the differences between coaching men and coaching women. It's good one.

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Stacy Sims:

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Website: https://www.drstacysims.com/

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Email: jase@scienceofsportsrecovery.com



Jase Kraft: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Science of Sports Recovery podcast, I'm your host Jase Kraft, and today I'm chatting with the author of Roar: Women Are Not Small Men. She is the leading global expert on female physiology and endurance training. So if you are a woman, if you coach women, if you have a wife that's training, if you're interested and wooing an endurance woman, you have to go check out her Instagram at Dr. Stacey Sim's and go learn some stuff. We talk about the differences between men and women, and we talk about the how your menstrual cycle can be an urgent DenTek aid and what actually that means. We study the iron levels in women as well as low energy availability and the differences between coaching men and coaching women. It's going to be a good one. Let's dove in.


Jase Kraft: [00:00:55] You're listening to the Science of Sports Recovery podcast. Each week, we explore how to recover more efficiently from training so you can work out harder and realize your full potential. This is the Science of Sports Recovery podcast.


Jase Kraft: [00:01:22] Hey, Stacey, it's great to have you on the show.


Stacy Sims: [00:01:26] Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be chatting. It's great.


Stacy Sims: [00:01:29] Yeah, awesome. Well, I want to start with what sport means to you, because obviously every researcher, every athlete has kind of a unique story of how they got started in sport and why.


Stacy Sims: [00:01:42] Oh, so mine is just your traditional younger sister trying to get away from older sister and I would ride my bike and she wouldn't and cycling and stuff became freedom to me. It's like you get on your bike and go places and it's just free in the way you feel when you're moving. And so that was kind of the first inkling into support that.


Jase Kraft: [00:02:04] How old were you at that point?


Stacy Sims: [00:02:06] Seven I think. Yeah, she's three years older than. Yeah. Yeah. So.


Jase Kraft: [00:02:13] So then did the cycling that turn into like an organized sport or was that just a hobby? And then when you get into junior high high school, you started doing something else.


Stacy Sims: [00:02:27] So I was a ballerina growing up for the most part. And then when I got to be about 13, my instructor was like, you need to choose between running and ballet and I recommend running. So, OK, I got into organized cross country and then got into rowing when I was at university and then found cycling and cycling has always been in the background Smit a mode of transportation freedom. But I didn't really start racing bikes until I was in my thirties.


Jase Kraft: [00:02:57] Ok, so what was how did you get into rowing from being a cross-country athlete? It seems like quite the transition.


Stacy Sims: [00:03:06] Transition, I know. So I was getting burnt out that when I started university and and trying to find something to do. And I was in the gym and our salespeople rowing and then and I started running with them, like, you should try for the game. And at the same time, I was being recruited to run for Purdue where I was, and I walked away from a potential scholarship running to pick up a club sport of rowing. And I loved it. It was awesome because it just so many different aspects because running is just running. But with growing, you have total body movement interaction, real weight training and and working as a team or not if you're in school. So, yeah, it was just a great environment to actually be part of the team. But as an individual


Jase Kraft: [00:03:56] Then that you did that all through university.


Stacy Sims: [00:04:00] Yeah, and had a single skull near my mom's house would row in the summers and stuff about involved in running my back to my running routes, got involved in running and then short course triathlon, then Ironman. And then I always still love my bike and switch from Ironman to bike race and now I just dabble and everything.


Jase Kraft: [00:04:24] So you're quite the all around athlete, that's for sure.


Stacy Sims: [00:04:29] It has to be fun.


Jase Kraft: [00:04:30] Yeah. Never said so. Obviously if we want to talk about kind of the differences between men and women and that's kind of the focus of this conversation. But when was it in your athletic career that you started to realize that, hey, maybe the training is it or the training or the materials or the recovery advice isn't meant for women and rather it's for men.


Stacy Sims: [00:04:58] So rowing actually on the team because they're rowing in a vote of eight women. And at the same time, I was doing exercise metabolism as undergrad. So we get thrown into these labs and my results be different and I get thrown out and I start asking questions and it and seeing an application as an athlete and still wondering things going well. Why is it that we're training the same way, but yet we're not getting the same results, we're told to recover to the same way. And the fact that the girls are and why is it that sometimes we're all flat and other times or not? And so I would bring these questions into the lab or into the classroom. And they're like, yeah, we don't know. What do you mean you don't know? And they're like, oh, well, we don't really know that much about women because we just generalize men or the other thing as well. Women might be grouped in, but often the results are an anomaly. That doesn't sound right. So that really was the impetus to drive to figure it out from being an athlete and and in an academic aspect. And then I became the academic to get the answers. As well as being an athlete.


Jase Kraft: [00:06:06] Yeah. Do you think you would have became the academic that you are if there wasn't like that discrepancy between men and women or lack of knowledge of women? Is that really kind of what drives you now?


Stacy Sims: [00:06:19] And that kind of it's a kind of a hard question because it's been going on for so long now. I think I still would have been academic because there's so many different things that are interesting and science is always evolving for and I work closely with a good friend and colleague who is a sociologist. She's looking at the context of women in sport. And so that brings another whole layer into into it because we are often pigeonholed as box of how we grew up or the people around us experiences someone who might live down this self, understanding how all those influences affect performance and how we feel when we move. Yeah, so there's all sorts of cool layers that go into to research. Yeah, for sure.


Jase Kraft: [00:07:05] So when you were told that. You know, we don't know that much about women, we don't you know, we just kind of generalize for men. What, like emotion? Was it an emotional response right away that was like, this isn't right? Or did it sink in a little bit later? Did it take multiple times or was it right away when you like? My results don't matter. There's something wrong with this.


Stacy Sims: [00:07:32] Yeah, it's pretty hard. But despite how I am now, I was super quiet and shy, so I didn't really counter it. OK, yeah, that's as it said. And I kind of thought about it more and more. It started really frustrating me. And when I got to grad school and transferred out of one subsection into another and my new advisory professor that Stacy, you look like a Barbie doll. I just figured your intelligence matched. And then I was like, whoa, there's this whole other layer of things going on where women are just so marginalized. And that was the point where I was like. I just fit, right, because I there are so many things that go on about being a female athlete that need to be answered. So that was through undergrad, really trying to get the questions answered and whatnot. But to to push back. But once I got to grad school at that point of a very misogynistic. Older person you're supposed to be, my adviser pushes back because they just assumed I wasn't very intelligent, just the way I looked and I was like, we're got to answer these questions now.


Jase Kraft: [00:08:45] And wow, that that's quite the. 


Stacy Sims: [00:08:50] The Experience


Jase Kraft: [00:08:53] Yeah.


Jase Kraft: [00:08:55] So it comes know, this topic is so important because obviously more than 50 percent of the population is female. There's plenty of female athletes out there. It's not like that's dominant at men by any means. And most of the female coaches are still men. So there is a disconnect between my experience I coach based on my experience, because that's what I know. So if I'm giving advice to a mile or a distance runner, I take in my experience, I take in what I know from academic and then I send it to them. Yeah, I have no idea about the female. I have no idea. I married a woman, but I have never experienced it myself, so I don't know like that part of it. And I think it's, you know, not talked about enough, especially in men coaching women that, hey, you need to understand the people that you're actually coaching. So like, where would where would you start as a male coach coaching female athletes? Like, what should we dove into first?


Stacy Sims: [00:10:17] Yeah, so this becomes a difficult conversation because it really revolves around a woman's menstrual cycle. And are they actually cycling? Are they on oral contraceptives? So are they on an IUD or are they perimenopause post menopause? And that becomes a very interesting conversation and still a little bit taboo for male coach to rock up to a female athlete and be like, yeah, the cycle or your regular people are really now a little bit touchy about that. And so generally, I really try to get coaches to know for new athletes, have an intake form and just have it as one of the basic questions. Are you naturally cycling around home step by step kind of approach is Smit. The other is if you have existing female athletes. Yeah, well, I've been reading and listening to the research is coming out, particularly in the past few years, about the menstrual cycle and how it can really help us tailor in your training to improve your performance. So I kind of like, OK, so it's just a really kind of open conversation. And most coaches and athletes have a good enough relationship that they can approach that conversation.


Stacy Sims: [00:11:26] When we talk about the menstrual cycle, we can put it more on the woman to track and then make notes to the coach, say, hey, I know that I feel really great on this day. I don't feel so great on that day. And just more that objective data about how she feels around her cycle so that if you're marking things like tiny peaks or some other platform, then you can see it. Or if you're just having a conversation and as a coach, you're like, what happened? You didn't hit these numbers today? And then she could probably be like, oh, well, today. Twenty three. And I'm always a bit flat on day twenty three. So maybe we should look at doing a key session for that work so it doesn't have to be in the weeds understanding every nuance of the menstrual cycle or anything like that. But it's really getting that basic tracking. So both the coach and the female athlete is happening where she feels great and can put in the really hard training and where we might need to back it off so she can absorb that tart cherry.


Jase Kraft: [00:12:26] So that's a great sum that up really well. And I'm wondering now from the female perspective, if there is I mean, I'm sure there's women that have never thought to try to track where they're in their cycle compared to how they feel on training. Is it as simple as like just keeping a log or like what should they be looking out for and what time's of them?


Stacy Sims: [00:12:55] Yeah, so it can be as simple as saying, well, day one is the first day of leading and I'm going to mark that on my calendar so I might have a little right before I put that in my training for stabling. And then you keep your training metrics like how did you feel, what were the intensities and the second half of the workout? How was you just all your basic recovery and training metrics, then you can your brothers over where you are in your cycle. So we say one of the first leading ambulation is another phase. So that's around eight, 12 to 13. And you have an estrogen's for a lot of women feel bulletproof and then. Other women feel flat until a couple of days later when asked to come down, that they feel bulletproof, manipulate training around there. And then after copulation come up, this is for women really have fantastic results and more steady state Tempo work because they can't quite hit high intensity. But their body shift use a little bit more fatty acids so they can really hone in on that top maximum capacity effect. And then about five days before the period starts to repeat, this is where women have more than that feeling. They can't access carbohydrates, can't hit their poor Tempo up of the city to say this is the time for debt load or just do more active recovery, work on running drills, work on mobility, flexibility.


Stacy Sims: [00:14:30] And so you're absorbing the previous three to four weeks that happy with your marking that down on your calendar and you're starting to see the nuances of your cycle versus your training. This is where you can say, oh yeah, I am one of those women that feels fantastic on day 12, but then I might feel flat or you might go. I feel really flat on day 12, but on day 14, no. So then you can switch the training. But the one thing that happens is the as I was saying, the socio cultural aspects come in where there's that you should feel awful during your period. You should feel awful the few days before your period. And perception is really powerful because if we tell a woman she's going to feel like shit, then she'll go out and report back. But what I want women to understand is you can be empowered and you should be able to push through and feel fantastic, especially on your period is a formative up in your body, is primed and ready to hit it hard and taking that it want to play that whole myth that you have to be a delicate flower around this time period. Just take it away and feel empowered that you have it


Jase Kraft: [00:15:41] Also given them permission right now.


Stacy Sims: [00:15:44] Exactly.


Stacy Sims: [00:15:45] Exactly.


Jase Kraft: [00:15:47] So what's the difference then between a natural cycle and cycle through a conscious effort and all that?


Stacy Sims: [00:15:57] So when you're taking an oral contraception, the combined oral contraceptive pill, you usually have three, three weeks of an active pill and then a sugar pill. And when you're taking exogenous hormones or this external hormones it down, regulate your natural cycles. So your own body is not responding. You don't have any of your hormones. And that's when people have a quiet period is not a true period. It's a withdrawal. So it's not an indication of what's going on in the body with an oral contraceptive pill. You have three weeks of a pretty high hormonal, steady state. And we know that the first two to three days of that sugar pill week, you have the ability to recover really well as those hormones are starting to come up, is more of a steady state. And then it gets a little bit harder to recover and harder to forget how you that high intensity, the longer you are in that steady state hormone profile. And then the first two to three days of the sugar pill when the hormones have completely dropped before your natural hormones come up again, you have another ability to hit it hard. So when you're on an oral contraceptive pill, you still want to track training versus for pill week for weeks. So you can see where you have a little bit more ability to put in harder training of.


Jase Kraft: [00:17:17] Interesting. Is do you get. Like I've heard, you kind of refer to the menstrual cycle as an academic aid for women, do you still get that when you're taking an oral contraceptive or is it commuted?


Speaker4: [00:17:39] You don't. So when I say your period is an organic aid, it's for women who are naturally cycling. If you get your period, then that means that you have maintained a health profile where you're getting enough calories in, you're absorbing the training or responding well. And it's that it's like the first thing that's to go awry. If you are overtraining or you're in an overreach state that you're an overreach state, then you start to get menstrual cycle regularities or stuff. When you're on an oral contraceptive pill, you don't have that because the pills are controlling are really the hormones. So you're from an external standpoint, providing your body with hormones and and you can't really manipulate your training around the hormones because they're all the same for three weeks. OK, but if I tell a female athletes, it's like when you're looking and you're on a pill, if you don't need to be on it for health reasons, yes, you can have that conversation and say, well, why am I on it? Should I be switching? Because if you're on an IUD, you could track your natural cycle and you can still phase trade based on your cycle because you can track it with basal body temperature and using an over-the-counter ovulation predictor because you can still ovulate with an IUD or use the progestin only pill because this doesn't down regulate your estrogen and you're using hormone, it does modulate natural progesterone, but you still have the same responses until the last few days before your periods. But then because you're on progestin only, it's not as impactful on recovery as a natural cycle. So there's different options to consider. I know a lot of women are just trying to deal with it because that's where they go and they're like, I want to be on a contraception and they combine an oral contraceptive pill. Here you go.


Jase Kraft: [00:19:41] So, yeah, I wouldn't have known any of that, so


Stacy Sims: [00:19:46] There you go.


Jase Kraft: [00:19:48] Yeah, so back in Episode 19, I talked to Alan and we talked about losing your period altogether, which obviously is not a good thing. Can you can you lose a period if you're on like a contraceptive like that?


Stacy Sims: [00:20:08] Yeah, but you won't know this is a thing. Some other women will be put on an oral contraceptive pill because they are avineri. They don't have their periods. And so a lot of times you want to be able to give you a period. But again, it's not a theory and it's not making your body healthy to produce its own hormones. And a lot of times, I mean, develop that a minarik or that period stuff because they're not feeling well enough. They're training too hard and not bringing in enough people. So if you're not eating enough and you don't have enough carbohydrate on board, then this little peptide in the brain says, oh, we need to not sell the body to produce this because we can't actually reproduce. So if your body doesn't have enough fuel coming in to maintain general health, then it's not going to allow you to have a cycle because the whole idea that a vicious cycle is producing, you don't have enough to people you and you definitely won't have enough to support a pregnancy. So your body is intuitively think that what's going on here, let's dial everything down so it conserves resting. Metabolic rate goes down. You put on more body fat, you become really tired. Incidental movement and activity slows down, appetite goes up. So there's all these things that happen when you lose your period.


Jase Kraft: [00:21:30] Well, what about like an irregular period? You know, those women that kind of take a contraceptive because they have an irregular period? It is the irregular period. Could that be something of like that training and nutrition is affecting or is it natural or how does that work?


Stacy Sims: [00:21:55] So we talk about in all the literary cycles and there most women will have maybe two or three in ambulatory cycles, two years. That's normal. And when you don't ovulate, then your period, because it's the second half that that really is affected if you don't have progesterone. And women cycles will change depending on stress as well. So I'll look at it like a platform of overlaying the menstrual cycle for a team sport athletes, and we'll say when they were traveling and when they weren't and I won't even know their schedule, I'll just look at their cycles and see how they've changed so I can see the stress point. So when you're under a lot of stress, the stress or training stress, your period shortens for the most part, or you might skip one and it's really long. So then it's like two months cycles, but you can be regularly irregular and still be healthy. If we say generally they say if you have eight to nine periods a year, then it's not a worry. But if you miss three in a row, then we know something's.


Jase Kraft: [00:23:08] Ok, interesting. So if if a woman is tracking their periods and all of this. As from a recovery standpoint, what should they be looking at and then what should they potentially change and whether either their diet or exercise? I know we had talked just briefly towards the end of your period is when you might need to load some of that and rest more. But is there anything else that we should be looking at as far as signals of maybe I need to focus on recovery a little bit more


Stacy Sims: [00:23:51] Yet in that high hormones that our heart rate variability changes as well. So in the little hormone, you have a really good heart rate variability indicating that you can be really resilient. And in the high hormone phase, your risk free rate goes up, resting heart rate goes up and your heart rate variability goes down, and that's normal. But some women will be like, oh my gosh, I've trained too hard. But understanding that it's polarized, the two faces polarized. And when you are permitted, you need more approach and more carbohydrate to come on board and that your fuel really fell before each and after each training session to recover because your body can stay in a greater breakdown at the high and low burn. You can get away with a little bit more. I don't really want people to do it, but you can. But in the high hormonal phase, and that's ovulation up to when your period starts again, you really have to dial in making sure you get enough protein. And this is regular protein in around trading regular doses throughout the day so that your body doesn't stay in that catabolic recounts. OK, otherwise it's not eating enough.


Jase Kraft: [00:25:02] Is all protein created equal in this point or is there better sources


Stacy Sims: [00:25:09] That are sources? So we try to say, you know, if you're looking at three to three and a half grams of Lucene protein hit, that's what you're looking for. So it can be plant based, can be animal based. It's for the same, but not Lucy. So you need to eat all of these assets to make things work. OK, so that samples of that could be just one of the single servings of of nonfat or low fat Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt like stargaze or 4G or whatever it is, it can be two to three hard boiled eggs. It can be a protein shake that you've made with some yogurt and milk and cheese and butter. You can default to protein powders as well. And then if you're looking for a meal, you're looking at palm sized of being protein. Is that gives you good if I am hit.


Jase Kraft: [00:26:10] Ok, cool. It's kind of funny or rattlin these things off and it's like that's like my wife's diet.


Stacy Sims: [00:26:20] She's doing well. She's doing


Jase Kraft: [00:26:24] That. So I know you've done some studies on iron levels and women. What what are your findings there?


Stacy Sims: [00:26:35] So, so many endurance athletes get low iron, so they have like iron deficiency or full blown anemia, and then they start trying to do iron supplementation. And it doesn't work because we end up with a lot more systemic inflammation. And that causes this little enzyme called Hep C to come up and hep C and won't allow your gut to absorb iron. And we know that it works across the menstrual cycle like that seed will circulate up and down across the menstrual cycle as well as inflammation. And the best way to mitigate it all is by using a vitamin D supplement so you can use vitamin D three after training to help modulate the effects of inflammation, regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle so that your gut can absorb the iron. And the older you get as a female athlete, the more important because that hep C level can take up to twenty four hours to return to baseline after you hit five. But in younger women it's about the hours. But it does. Like I said, it does modulate across a menstrual cycle because your body's storing iron before you burn so low and then it comes up. The bottom line is vitamin D three.


Jase Kraft: [00:27:59] Ok, and so you're saying that so clear here, vitamin D three actually indirectly boosts your iron levels because your body is more open to absorb it rather than taking an iron supplementation that causes this inflammation is hep C or three?


Stacy Sims: [00:28:19] Yeah. So Hep C Eden is your liver enzyme that comes up with inflammation and vitamin G three down regulated so drops down. So then your body can work normally by absorbing iron. That's awesome. And if you are super, super low, you want to get an iron infusion. So it's not going through the gut, you get the iron levels up and then start putting the bottom into it, OK?


Jase Kraft: [00:28:44] Yeah, I know, I know many endurance athletes and I would imagine that would hold true for the male population then too. Yeah. Yeah. Because there are so many. I come from the distance world endurance world and there are so many athletes that they get their blood work checked and low iron. Who would have thought.


Stacy Sims: [00:29:06] Yeah. Yeah. And it's yeah. It's so prevalent. And part of it is you're not eating enough, especially in the different world. You're just always on the cusp of not getting enough iron in anyway. And then the information that the endurance training also, you know, does that help speed it up regulation which inhibits iron out should inflammation get that vitamin D Ari and then you absorb the iron when you go?


Jase Kraft: [00:29:34] Yeah, yeah. I actually it's interesting that this came up because I did inside track the blood work a few weeks ago or about a month ago probably now, and my blood work came back. I was low in vitamin D and low and iron. There you go. So less of a correlation. There is vitamin D three. Is there any like if I'm going to look at taking a supplement for vitamin D, which is the only supplement that I take personally, is there something like can I get a vitamin D to on accident or vitamin D?


Stacy Sims: [00:30:11] Yeah.


Jase Kraft: [00:30:11] If you stick around and listen to enough of our episodes here on The Science of Sports Recovery podcast, you'll notice a common theme of importance of mobility in recovery and injury prevention. That's why I recommend checking out the The Ready States Virtual Mobility Coach to help you improve your mobility, recoverability and injury prevention. The Red State is a brainchild of coach and athlete Dr. Kelly Starrett, who you can learn more about on Episode 13. His Virtual Mobility Coach program helps athletes understand the importance of recovery, pain relief and self care. In other words, it helps fix the recovery side of training so you can keep seeing results from your workouts. His program will guide you through the same mobilizations use on athletes in the NFL, NHL and MLB provide custom tools for pain relief to give you customized pre and post exercise mobilizations based on your training and sports schedule and deliver daily mobilizations to keep you on track to achieve your goals. You put your heart and soul into your workouts. Make sure you get the most of them by going to the red state dot com Jase again, that's the red state dot com slash j a. S e. The link will also be in the show notes. Now back to the show.


Stacy Sims: [00:31:35] You get a D two or three, but you want the three because that's more bioavailable and does all the actions you wanted to go. Usually we say no more than a thousand international units.


Stacy Sims: [00:31:48] OK, yeah.


Jase Kraft: [00:31:52] Definitely going to write that down, make sure I got the right one.


Stacy Sims: [00:31:55] Yeah, very good. If you're training sessions and see your eye or just come


Jase Kraft: [00:32:02] A OK, so you also did a study on low energy availability. And I'm curious to know what your findings are there as well, because I know that for both the male and the female population, but there comes a point in your training where you're like, I just I usually want to get out the door and train, but now I don't. And then you go too far down that alley and then you lead to burnout and then you end up hating the sport that you once love. And then you take some time off and then you get your decision. So, like, first of all, what are some symptoms or signs of low energy availability? And then what was kind of like your basis for a study there?


Stacy Sims: [00:32:53] Ok, so there's a sex difference in your signs and symptoms and that has to do with some signaling brain, which I'll get to in a minute. So for men, you can hold a little bit of low energy availability and perform well for about three or four months. And then you hit the deep that you start to put on belly fat Negro Vantis and you're just completely fatigued and you're like, my legs are heavy. I have no motivation. I'm getting everything. There's a big psychological fatigue toll and those are the primary markers for men and women with low energy availability to, like I said, get your regular menstrual cycles and we start having a really super low heart rate lower than what normal is, but have a really difficult time bringing it up because we have lost part of that sympathetic activation. And then the flip side of that, there's more anxiety because then you have neurotransmitters and things that are saying, I need food, I need food. And then the same physiological aspects that you can note is you put on belly fat and no matter what, you're doing a hard training standpoint, I believe that one person won't budge, very visible, which it won't budge. And you have really poor sleep patterns. And then, you know, main answer for women there is they'll try to train harder and fast and just just downward cycle. And then again, they plateau and hit the.


Jase Kraft: [00:34:32] It's interesting. They say you get a lower heart rate for women because that could be a sign of better shape.


Stacy Sims: [00:34:39] Yeah, I know. I know. But it's it isn't. It's because everything is down regulating the greatest, down regulating everything for sure. But it's not as and because we have this threshold difference for energy availability and that has to do with this neuropeptide in the brain kisspeptin. And there are two parts of the hypothalamus that are activated in women and but only one event. So if you have low calorie intake for women, then one one gets disrupted for the other, which causes all this cascade at a different threshold. And then


Stacy Sims: [00:35:23] The biggest thing that people can do when they're worried about being energy is make sure you have breakfast and make sure that you feel really well the activity that you were doing. And when we start to lose our appetite after a hard training session, then we know we need to eat. It's hard, but we need to eat and then the rest of the day and kind of play with things. But it's so critical the fuel in and around training session for both men and women, because often we book in the days and calories. I could get out the like, OK, I'm going to have breakfast and you forget and then you wake up at the end of the day, starving, eating more calories in at the end of the day. Yeah, but you have a big hole in the middle of the day where your body's trying to cause significant breakdown state. That is another signal that you're in trouble because you didn't feel and give your body food when you needed it.


Jase Kraft: [00:36:23] Yeah, and we went in depth and how to feel properly in episode twenty one with Jen Giles. So if you like, if you're if you're listening to this and like, oh, I might be there, check your check you're feeling go back to episode twenty one because I tell the story of myself doing this like, like you said, and we talked about how exercise is an appetite suppressant. Sometimes it's a harder. Sizes and that held true for me, I'd go out and do my long 17, 18 mile run closing hard, and then I just wouldn't be hungry all day because then I'd be starving the next day, you know, and obviously that's not you know, your body needs something before the right day. So but it's it's interesting how that happens when you think logically, like I should be starving right away, but you're not even like we'd go to buffets after, like, meats and stuff and be like, yeah, we're going to load up and get like half of play the flute food then and like, so stuffed.


Stacy Sims: [00:37:35] Yeah, I know. It's funny, it's funny how temperature fluctuations affect the hypothalamus and that's part of it, is that you get your appetite for a little bit hard session because you've just completely depleted and your body's in a bit of a tizzy. Well, how do I relate so well? What do I need to repeat to the body versus appetite? Signaling is a little bit in a misstep, so you just eat it. That's a point where you're just like, OK, I know I'm not hungry, but I need to get up again. Like it's reset and settle the body and. But that appetite back.


Jase Kraft: [00:38:12] Yeah. Which is opposite of what any nutrition advice outside of the athletic world would tell you, Tony, when you're not hungry.


Stacy Sims: [00:38:23] I know. I know. And then that's the misstep people will take of the the help and the athletic world.


Jase Kraft: [00:38:31] That is two different worlds.


Stacy Sims: [00:38:33] Two different worlds. Yeah.


Jase Kraft: [00:38:35] Yeah. OK, so if I am a coach for a five K, I have a team that they're all running the five K half of them. I mean half of them are women. If I'm putting in a training plan together they said they can they be the same or like how would you put together a training program for women that might reflect a better of their physiology than men?


Stacy Sims: [00:39:06] And then this is where your menstrual cycle phase training comes into play. So you're looking at the woman's menstrual cycle. And again, in the low hormone phase, this is where you during your high intensity reps, your year to work on. And you're doing lots of track sessions because this is where they can be pretty hard around ovulation. Same thing. And then and after ovulation, it's for the steady state work, fresh work. And again, that depends on how long the cycle is. It's in the running technique, mobility in this Tudor's periods. So in an ideal world, every woman's period and cycle, you could be really specific, but if you have a team for innovation, you're like everyone needs to show up for a track workout. And then half the women are low hormone and have the high hormone. So I guess everyone shows up for the track workout. But if, you know, as a coach, which ones are in that high performance phase for that period and maybe they're not doing as many other purposes for running for the eight hundred set at the top speed, small little modifications within the team environment to benefit the athlete you're not singling out in any way, shape or form. They're still part of that inclusiveness of the team that you're just modifying a little bit, just the same as someone was injured or coming back from injury. How you modify a little bit. I guess that's kind of a bad analogy, because I don't want people to think that there's a negative point cycle, but like coaches can adapt and work with their athletes in that team environment. And that's just part of it.


Jase Kraft: [00:40:46] I think the just the little modifications is a good point, because I don't want to get to the end of this conversation and have somebody think that I have to write a whole new training plan for every field, because the other this different person, it's more about, like you said, the little adjustments throughout the training cycle, whereas especially like with men, it seems like you can do your vatu and the threshold in the long run every week and just do it week after week after week. Whereas women, you feel you might have a couple of different versions of the workout and bassnectar.


Stacy Sims: [00:41:29] Yeah. And I'm sure healin told you about the coaching platform with Briault. Yeah. Yeah. That makes it easier. Yeah. Makes it easier to be able to see who's doing what and how you can change things and not necessarily be on the fly on the day, but have a little bit more foresight into what kind of environment you're coming into on that day. Yeah, for


Jase Kraft: [00:41:55] Sure. Awesome. Well, we're getting close to the end of our time here. So if there is any like if you can leave the conversation with one idea or statement to a coach and then to a female athlete training, endurance or not endurance, what do you want to leave them with?


Stacy Sims: [00:42:22] So there's been a lot of conversation in popular media about the menstrual cycle and training. And the one critical thing I need people to understand is that there's one point in time on the day performance that is not necessarily affected by menstrual cycle hormones, because the psychological aspect of wanting to perform well on the day and being in a race environment is completely different, that you can be straight and you can use your cycle to benefit your training when you go hard, when your body can go hard and recover and then load when your body's a little bit more tired. But that is different from performance depression. So I don't want anyone to be afraid to go out and say, oh, a few days period start, I'm not going to have a good race because that's not the perception and how you feel. There's so much further on the day. So performance is one angle. Training is the other. And that goes for coaches and athletes.


Jase Kraft: [00:43:26] Yeah, that is such a good point. I'm glad you mentioned that to I obviously am not a female, but I do have days where going into the competition, I feel like crap like this is not going to go well. And then I end up like praying or winning or what have you. Or does that come from, you know, to learn like I don't need this negative self talk before I even get there, get to the line. No, healthy is a big enough accomplishment. I don't want to waste my opportunity there.


Stacy Sims: [00:44:02] Right. And that's the other thing about faith based training, is that it reduces injury risk and allows for better quality training, which every athlete wants. Better quality training, less injury means that you just keep stepwise improvement and performance on the day. There you go.


Jase Kraft: [00:44:20] Awesome. Well, thanks so much for being with us here today, Stacey. If somebody wants to learn more about Stacey and what she's up to, you can follow her on Instagram or Facebook. Dr. Stacey Sims and her website, Dr. Stacy Sims, dot com, as well as any place else or any exciting things that you've got going on right now that people should be aware of. This will be released in April.


Stacy Sims: [00:44:49] So we have a follow up to report that's coming out in Dubai, but it's more for the perimenopause, meaning that know further down the line and up to that point. And we're doing a lot of women empowerment conversations, very different seminars and webinars and things. And all of that will be posted through the Dr. Stacey Smit. Yeah.


Jase Kraft: [00:45:12] So I will go check her out and let her know that you heard her on the science as far as Recovery podcast. Thanks so much.


Stacy Sims: [00:45:21] Thanks for having me fun.


Jase Kraft: [00:45:22] All right. Episode's over. If you found value in this episode, please consider giving us a review on iTunes. And if you haven't already yet, subscribe do so now. So you don't miss any important topics in the coming week. If you have any questions or suggestions for the show, please send them my way. I am most responsive on Instagram. That's at Jase Cheese. Jay E. Cheese like the food or email me directly at Jase Jayce at Science of Sports Recovery that tocsin.


Stacy Sims

Author, Researcher

Stacy T. Sims, Ph.D., is an applied researcher, innovator, and entrepreneur in human performance, specifically sex differences in training, nutrition, and environmental conditions.

Prior to being launched into industry, 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.

With the unique opportunities, Silicon Valley has to offer, during her tenure at Stanford, she had the opportunity to translate earlier research into consumer products and a science-based layperson's book (ROAR) written to explain sex differences in training and nutrition across the lifespan. Both the consumer products and the book challenged the existing dogma for women in exercise, nutrition, and health.

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. As a direct result, she has been named:

One of the top 50 visionaries of the running industry (2015) by DMSE Sports.
One of the top 40 women changing the paradigm of her field (2017) by Outside Magazine.
One of the top four visionaries in the outdoor sports industry (2017) by Outside Magazine - Genius Issue (No electronic version but here is the proof).
One of the top four individuals changing the landscape in triathlon nutrition (2017) by Triathlete Magazine
Her research publication history can be found in Google Scholar

A regularly featured speaker at professional and academic conferences, including those hosted by US Olympic Committee, High-Performance Sport NZ, and USA Cycling, is a Senior Research Associate at AUT University and resides at the beach in Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand with her husband and young daughter.