Female athletes injuries linked to eating habits

new study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, published by researchers at Stanford University, offers an important reminder that training isn’t the only risk factor: Eating patterns, and the broader cluster of conditions known as the “female athlete triad” predict stress fracture risk in female athletes with devastating accuracy.

The female athlete triad refers to the relationships between energy availability, menstrual function and bone mineral density. In athletes whose food intake doesn’t provide enough calories – after the demands of training are accounted for – to support necessary physiological needs, both menstrual function and bone health are compromised.

“Our study shows the risks we identified are not theoretical,” says Tenforde, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a sports medicine physician at the Spaulding National Running Center. “The high rate of injury is very concerning and may be motivating to an athlete to engage in treatments to optimize nutrition, menstrual function and bone health.”

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