With female athletes on par with their male counterparts in most components of professional and amateur sports today, it is distressing to note the lack of focus on female participants in sports nutrition research, resulting in an absence of products tailored to their specific needs. While most companies cater to their female consumers with small-scale versions of the regular products created for male athletes, there are critical anatomical and physiological differences ignored, furthered by the lack of scientific study to validate it.
Female nutrition experts have noted how female participants only form 2-3% of the scientific research on sports injuries and performance, despite being more than half of the athlete population. Similarly, in sports medicine studies, only about 30% of the study subjects are women. The reason cited for this bias was the hormone fluctuation among female participants, which might lead to inconclusive study results.
While hormonal difference and physical stature are some of the obvious differences between male and female athletes, there are many other biochemical and physiological differences to be taken into account while creating nutrition products. Female bodies use up fat as fuel more than their male counterparts, along with different rates of nutrient consumption, endurance and performance. Goal weight and body image are also starkly different for the genders, with female athletes aiming to reduce bulk and stay skinny, and male athletes striving for the opposite.
Thankfully the tides are beginning to change, with many popular sports nutrition brands striving to improve their products for women, along with bettering research and survey in these sectors. By creating products that specifically address the female athlete’s health needs and temperament, companies will also be able to pull in a prime segment of today’s active consumer population.
Head over to Good Health Nutrition for unbiased health and nutrition supplements, apparels and more.