In Episode #248, nutrition scientist and exercise physiologist Dr Stacy Sims joins me to examine the scientific literature on nutrition and exercise for women, providing tips for women across all stages of life.
“Women are not smaller men.”
There is a vast gap in the literature when it comes to studying the effects of exercise and nutrition for women. With scientific consensus and recommendations largely rooted in studies based on men, there is a long way to go in terms of both research and scientific communication on this topic. Dr Stacy Sims comes to this conversation with a wealth of knowledge, providing insight into why the literature is shaped this way and how women can eat and exercise for better outcomes.
Stacy T. Sims, MSc, PhD, is a forward-thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionise exercise nutrition and performance for women. She has directed research programs at Stanford, AUT University, and the University of Waikato, focusing on female athlete health and performance and pushing the dogma to improve research on all women. Dr Sims is internationally recognised as a leader in sex differences in training, exercise, and health, pioneering a larger shift in research on women.
“[The research bias is] why we see all this fasting data coming out being so spectacular – again, that’s from male data.”
This incredibly detailed conversation spans everything from the perception of women in research to case studies on hypothetical people. Dr Sims breaks down how the menstrual cycle and birth control affect training and other health factors, highlighting the benefits of cycle tracking. We discuss types of training, RED-S, supplementation, and body fat percentage. Dr Sims also provides useful tips for women at all stages of life, including pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Specifically, we discuss:
- Intro (00:00)
- Dr. Stacy Sims’ academic journey (02:00)
- Female physiology (05:38)
- Implications of applying results of male-centric studies to women (09:12)
- Discerning the variances in physiological makeup between genders to customize training regimes (16:29)
- Physiological disparities between genders (20:53)
- Understanding the significance of a balanced diet and exercises tailored to accommodate the menstrual cycle (24:14)
- Ideal training programs tailored to the menstrual cycle of a 30-year-old woman (52:30)
- Exercise regimes during pregnancy (1:06:00)
- Achieving balance through nutrition, diet, and supplementation in your 30s (1:12:58)
- Female bodybuilding: androgenic compounds and hormones (1:27:55)
- The correlation between contraception and exercises (1:32:06)
- Optimizing exercise during menopause: evidence-based strategies for 60-year-old women (1:37:10)
- Training, nutrition, and supplementation beyond the age of 60 (1:51:44)
- The significance of lipids in your 30s and 60s (1:56:04)
- Outro (1:59:12)
I’m grateful to have had Dr Sims on the show to shine a light on a topic that is not widely addressed. I hope this conversation helps you understand how you can work with your body to maximise your results, and if this episode doesn’t apply directly to you, serves as an important reminder that no two bodies are the same.
To connect with Stacy Sims, MSc, PhD, you can do so on Instagram or Facebook. Her website, https://www.drstacysims.com, offers a myriad of resources to guide you on your journey to maximise your body’s potential, and you’ll also be able to find her books there.
The best way to support the show is to use the products and services offered by our sponsors. To check them out, and enjoy great savings, visit theproof.com/friends.
More about Stacy T Sims, MSc, PhD
STACY T. SIMS, MSC, PHD, is a forward-thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionize exercise nutrition and performance for women.
She has directed research programs at Stanford, AUT University, and the University of Waikato, focusing on female athlete health and performance and pushing the dogma to improve research on all women.
With the unique opportunities, Silicon Valley has to offer, during her tenure at Stanford, she had the opportunity to translate earlier research into consumer products and a science-based layperson’s book (ROAR) written to explain sex differences in training and nutrition across the lifespan. Both the consumer products and the book challenged the existing dogma for women in exercise, nutrition, and health. This paradigm shift is the focus of her famous “Women Are Not Small Men” TEDx talk.
Her contributions to the international research environment and the sports nutrition industry have established a new niche in sports nutrition; and established her reputation as the expert in sex differences in training, nutrition, and health. As a direct result, she has been named:
- One of the top 50 visionaries of the running industry (2015) by DMSE Sports.
- One of the top 40 women changing the paradigm of her field (2017) by Outside Magazine.
- One of the top four visionaries in the outdoor sports industry (2017) by Outside Magazine – Genius Issue (no electronic version but here is the proof).
- One of the top four individuals changing the landscape in triathlon nutrition (2017) by Triathlete Magazine
Dr. Sims has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers, several books and is a regularly featured speaker at professional and academic conferences, including those by USOC and USA Cycling.
Stacy currently holds a Senior Research Associate position with SPRINZ-AUT University, supervises PhD students, writes academic papers, and is on the advisory board of some cutting-edge companies including Tonal Strength Institute, WILD.AI, and EXOS. She also has her own business (www.drstacysims.com) where she creates and delivers online learning material focused on women training with their physiology across the lifespan.
Additional resources and supporting studies
- 4 Tips for Building Muscle and Burning Fat After Menopause • Tonal
- Morning Exercise Reduces Abdominal Fat and Blood Pressure in Women; Evening Exercise Increases Muscular Performance in Women and Lowers Blood Pressure in Men • PMID: 35711313