Exercising women with menstrual disturbances consume low energy dense foods and beverages

Jennifer L. Reed, Jessica L. Bowell, Brenna R. Hill, Brittany A. Williams, Mary Jane De Souza, Nancy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Women with exercise-associated menstrual cycle disturbances (EAMD) restrict energy intake. Reducing energy density (ED; kcals·g-1 of food or beverage) may be a strategy employed by EAMD women to maintain lower energy intake. The purpose of this study was 3-fold: to determine whether EAMD women consume low ED diets; to identify food groups associated with low ED; and to determine concentrations of total peptide YY (PYY), a satiety factor. Twenty-five active females were divided into 2 groups, according to menstrual status: EAMD (n = 12) and ovulatory controls (OV) (n = 13). Two 3-day diet records were analyzed for ED and other parameters. Body composition, fitness, resting metabolic rate, and PYY were measured. Groups did not differ in age, age of menarche, body mass index, maximal aerobic capacity, body fat (%), or amount of exercise per week. For fat mass (12.4 ± 1.7 vs. 14.9 ± 3.5 kg; p = 0.046), energy availability (28.8 ± 11.5 vs. 42.1 ± 9.2 kcal·kg-1 FFM; p = 0.006), and energy intake (29.8 ± 9.2 vs. 36.3 ± 10.6 kcals·kg-1 BW; p = 0.023), EAMD was lower than OV. ED was lower in EAMD than in OV (0.77 ± 0.06 vs. 1.06 ± 0.09 kcal·g-1; p = 0.018) when all beverages were included, but not when noncaloric beverages were excluded. Vegetable (p = 0.047) and condiment (p = 0.014) consumption and fasting PYY (pg·mL-1) (p = 0.006) were higher in EAMD. EAMD ate a lower ED diet through increased vegetable, condiment, and noncaloric beverage consumption, and exhibited higher PYY concentrations. These behaviors may represent a successful strategy to restrict calories and maximize satiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-394
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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