Chapter

The Female Athlete Triad

pp 13-27

Date:

Sports Nutrition

  • Katrina SchroederAffiliated withDivision of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • , Kendrin R. SonnevilleAffiliated withDivision of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s HospitalHuman Nutrition Program, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health Email author 

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Abstract

Eating properly to fuel the body sounds easy, but can be challenging for many people, especially adolescent girls and young women. An energy deficit, or not taking in enough calories, affects hormones, bone density, and consequently, athletic performance. It is necessary for an athlete to eat a varied, balanced diet with proper amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fat, iron, calcium, and vitamin D in order to perform and keep her body healthy. Carbohydrates should form the foundation of any diet, especially an athlete’s diet, in order to provide enough stored energy (i.e., glycogen). Dehydration can also have adverse effects on an athlete’s performance. Therefore, it is imperative that an athlete eat enough calories, focus on carbohydrates for energy, and maintain adequate hydration status.