According to a new study, female runners who are also restricting their calorie intake are at higher risk of osteoporosis and other lifelong bone issues.
The study, published in the international scientific journal Eating Behaviours, analysed adolescent female cross-country runners who were consciously trying to restrict calories in order to achieve a certain body weight. It was found that these runners scored lower on a measure of lumbar spine bone mass, a deficiency that could lead to serious health issues later in life, compared with female runners who were not actively counting calories.
The difference in daily calorie intake between the two groups of runners was not drastically different (37kcal per gram of body weight vs. 44kcal/kg) but the lasting impact of this lower intake could lead to osteoporosis and other serious bone-related health concerns. Despite keeping them ‘fit’ and ‘slim’, running without sufficient calories for sustained periods was not deemed to be healthy.
The findings highlighted the importance of adequate intake of energy, carbohydrates, dietary fats and whole grains, which provide essential nutrients for optimising the health and performance of young runners, particularly female athletes.
In addition to the above, a daily health supplement could also help to nourish the body and ensure that it has enough of what it needs to stay fit and healthy. For example, the sports recovery supplement Core ASX® contains a trio of natural astaxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Natural astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants known to science, helping to reduce inflammation, prevent muscle damage and support recovery from exercise. Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen production which helps to provide support and structure to bones are cartilage, and vitamin E helps to protects cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
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