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8 Elements to Know in Female Sports Nutrition

8 important things women should know when doing sports

Nutrition is considered as one of the most important factors affecting the performance of female athletes. The energy and nutrients required by the athlete and adequate fluid intake are the basis of athlete’s nutrition. Although the energy and nutrient requirements of women athletes differ in age, gender and sports branches, basic nutrition rules are similar for all athletes.

The amount of calories required by each sport is different.
The main purpose of athlete’s training is to ensure that there are changes in the body structure and functions that will provide better performance. For this purpose, each exercise, each sports branch creates different energy needs.

The energy needs of female athletes vary depending on factors such as age, height, weight, and muscle mass, but the energy needs of an average female basketball player, for example, are around 3500 – 3700 kcal. Tall players need more calories. It was determined that the players in the team that started the game in the competitions increased their energy needs more than the reserves.

Proper nutrition is essential not only for success but also for protection from injuries.
Success in team sports such as basketball, volleyball and football depends not only on one player, but on all players’ performance as a team in harmony. It is imperative to determine the nutritional requirements required for each player to be successful enough to perform the desired performance, to protect him from injuries during sports and to be always healthy.

Whether it is individual or team sports, the needs of female athletes also differ in training and competitions that require intense effort. Although their body structures are different, they will often experience physical contact with their rivals or rival team players, especially during the competition, and these players also require a strong and durable body.

Balanced Nutrition Is The Most Important

It should not be forgotten that not only before the competition or training, but also for the whole week, it is necessary to supply the body with a balanced and adequate diet.


Required protein, carbohydrate and fat requirement varies from sports to sports, from athletes to athletes
Energizing foods are protein, carbohydrates and fats. While carbohydrates are stored in the body in the form of glycogen in the muscles and in a small amount in the liver; fats can be stored freely throughout the body.

Proteins cannot be stored, they act as the building blocks of muscles and other tissues, are involved in the structure of important substances such as enzymes, and they can provide very little of the energy we need. In fact, each exercise creates different energy needs for each sports branch, and this energy must be met by using different amounts of carbohydrates and fats specific to the sport, duration and individual differences.

Half a kilo of healthy carbs per day is enough for an average female athlete

While an ordinary person who needs 1800-2000 kcal per day is fed with an average of 300 grams of carbohydrates to meet about 40% of it, 60-65% of the total energy of the athletes is recommended to be met from carbohydrates and at least 450-600 grams of healthy carbohydrates are recommended. These are wholemeal bread, whole grain bread, wholemeal pasta, potatoes, bulgur, green vegetables, and wholemeal cereals.

Proper Nutrition Strengthens Muscles

The diet of female athletes should also contain a sufficient amount of protein, especially rich in essential amino acids. This is necessary for a healthy immune system and other physiological processes of the body, as well as for the growth and repair of muscles. For daily protein requirement, increasing the recommended 0.8-1g protein per kilo of body weight by 50% (1.2-1.5g / kg / day) in women athletes will be sufficient to repair muscle proteins that are damaged during exercise.

Recent studies show that the amount of protein as well as its protein intake time and whether other nutrients are consumed at this time also affect athletic performance. Proteins from milk and dairy products are very useful if there is no intolerance for both weight loss exercises and those who do sports to protect and increase muscle mass.

Getting enough and rich protein strengthens muscles

The diet of female athletes should also contain a sufficient amount of protein, especially rich in essential amino acids. This is necessary for a healthy immune system and other physiological processes of the body, as well as for the growth and repair of muscles. For daily protein requirement, increasing the recommended 0.8-1g protein per kilo of body weight by 50% (1.2-1.5g / kg / day) in women athletes will be sufficient to repair muscle proteins that are damaged during exercise.

Recent studies show that the amount of protein as well as its protein intake time and whether other nutrients are consumed at this time also affect athletic performance. Proteins from milk and dairy products are very useful if there is no intolerance for both weight loss exercises and those who do sports to protect and increase muscle mass.

Female athletes should have a higher percentage of body fat than men

The amount of fat that is effective in body weight varies according to the gender and the sport. For example, the body fat percentage of the male athlete engaged in bodybuilding is 6%; it may be 15% of the male athlete who deals with basketball. Body fat percentages of women athletes can be up to 20%. The minimum percentage of fat in the body of athletes is 5% in men; it should be 12% in women.

Women athletes may need more supplements than men

In general, female athletes need more energy and protein as well as water, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, compared to both non-sports types. An important difference when compared with men is that the need for iron increases. In general, additional support may be required for women athletes, since there is insufficient iron in the diet.

It will be appropriate for women athletes to get help from athletes’ health and sports nutrition experts in determining their special nutritional needs and using external supplements when necessary.

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