Yee gawds! Science is slowly coming around to the realization that men and women are – get ready – DIFFERENT! Not only are men from Mars and women from Venus, we actually metabolize food and process our energy requirements in gender-specific ways! Or to be more exact, in hormone-specific ways.
The crux of the misconceptions are the investigations and clinical trials that use all-male subjects – and then project the findings onto women. Much to the surprise of scientists who are now including female subjects in their research – we don’t respond in ways that are physiologically similar to men. Thus, carbohydrate or protein loads before and after exercise affect our ability to sustain a training session, burn fat and recover from strenuous exercise differently than men.
An interesting study has just been summarized in The New York Times, called “What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About Women”. It raises more questions than answers, with the possible exception that any future exercise physiology studies must include women if the results are to be applied to our gender.
It is fascinating that science is slowly beginning to accept that gender does make a difference. What must seem obvious to any woman is apparently a thing of mystery to many men. But then, that should come as no surprise. As the end of the article mentioned above states “When it comes to women, there’s a great deal that sports scientists just don’t understand.” I venture to say that when it comes to women in general, there’s a great deal that men just don’t understand”!!