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Dr Stacy Sims: What women get wrong when training around their period

The world-renowned exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist reveals the smart, safe and effective ways women should eat, exercise and recovery around their menstrual cycle and during the menopause to look, feel and perform at their very best
Dr Stacy Sims, PhD
Dr Stacy Sims, PhD

Dr Stacy Sims, PhD, is an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionise exercise nutrition and performance for women. She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers, and authored female-focused performance optimisation books, Roar, and Next Level, which challenge the existing dogma around exercise, nutrition, and health for women. She regularly speaks at professional and academic conferences, including those by USOC and USA Cycling. She lives in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Follow her on X and Instagram. Visit drstacysims.com.

Dr Stacy Sims: Track your menstrual cycle to perform better

For Dr Stacy Sims, her simple but powerful mantra of “Women are not small men” makes an instant impact to drive home the message that the training, nutrition and recovery protocols that work best for men may not always be the optimal approach for women.

Take fasted training (exercising on an empty stomach) and ice baths (or any form of cold water immersion therapy) after exercise. These are just two examples – one training strategy and one recovery protocol – that, as Dr Sims revealed to Unfiltered, that have a hugely different physiological impact when done by a man compared with when done by a women.

It’s this lack of education, knowledge and understanding that is doing all women who exercise a huge disservice, with male-researched protocols used to dictate what women should do, even when it does more harm than good.

Yet an even bigger problem, and one that is actively preventing all women from living the fittest, healthiest and happiest life possible, is the lack of education, resource and information on the best ways for them to exercise, eat and recover during their menstrual cycle, and then the optimal training and lifestyle changes they can make before, during and after the menopause.

In our exclusive interview Dr Sims details exactly how women should tweak their training programme and schedule during each stage of their menstrual cycle, and details the training, nutrition and recovery philosophy all women should follow during perimenopause.

The New Zealand-based exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist also reveals her frustration at the current Western medical establishment for a lack of empathy and understanding for women going through the menopause, and outlines what GPs and doctors can do help women, as well as what women can do themselves, to take back control of their health and happiness.

Dr Stacy Sims: How to train during perimenopause

Dr Stacy Sims: We need better menopause education and resources now

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