There is plenty for women to consider when it comes to linking proper nutrition and working out. There are hormonal cycles, moods, activity levels, lifestyle preferences, and even body types to think about. And it’s not hard to fall off track, even when you think you are doing everything right. So… we headed over to an expert for some useful advice.
German born practitioner Caroline Bienert is a qualified nutritional therapist and detox expert. An internationally acclaimed metabolism expert currently based in Dubai, Caroline has been dedicated to health and holistic wellbeing for over 15 years, to the benefit of her clients who come from a variety of backgrounds including royalty, entrepreneurs, CEOs, celebrities, and models. Here is how she weighed in on this issue…
In regards to sports nutrition and women, what are some main factors to keep in mind?
If you are very active, your body uses much more vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids than usual - especially magnesium and calcium, which are needed for muscle contractions and stability of your bones. So focus on magnesium and calcium fueling foods like broccoli, spinach, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, herbs (basil, thyme), or fish like sardines and tent peg. Avoid using cow milk products for your daily calcium source. These products obstruct your metabolic system.
Should women consume particular foods during the menstrual cycle to aid them in keeping up their energy for fitness activities?
I do not recommend exhausting activities during the menstrual cycle. Women’s bodies lose lots of iron during this time period. Trying to keep up with the usual sports routine could harm your body. Use this time to calm down instead; use it as a natural time of detox, meditation, and for slow walks in the fresh air. This strengthens your entire system and fuels energy for upcoming workouts.
What are your thoughts on protein bars, protein shakes, and energy drinks for women?
Sports nutrition is a healthy, organic, and fresh diet - and specially produced and processed foods like protein bars, protein shakes, and energy drinks are the total opposite. They are pure simple sugars to spike your energy level instantly. They can even be unhealthy if taken on a regular basis; they acidify your body and can lead to diabetes. Rather GO GREEN and natural!
What should a woman eat before and after her workout?
My advice is to avoid eating two hours before your training session. Have a green smoothie instead which will boost your energy level. After a workout, fuel your body with natural proteins: have a nice savory dish with organic eggs, chicken, white fish, and green veggies. Or treat yourself with a delicious berry smoothie mixed with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, banana, coconut water, and some yoghurt (from goat or sheep milk).
Where do most women go wrong on their quest for eating a balanced diet and maintaining an exercise program?
Most of my female clients go all in or nothing. They constantly change between no sports and bad eating habits and extensive sports and super healthy foods. But consistency is key! Don’t change your daily routines too much; stay firm with your habits! Eat breakfast, lunch with a dessert, and dinner with less carbs. Incorporate lots of fresh foods but also feed your cravings.