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Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life
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Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,981 ratings  ·  260 reviews
Women are not small men. Stop eating and training like one.

Because most nutrition products and training plans are designed for men, it’s no wonder that so many female athletes struggle to reach their full potential. ROAR is a comprehensive, physiology-based nutrition and training guide specifically designed for active women. This book teaches you everything you need to kno
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Rodale Books
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Malinda The Resources chapter lists references by chapter. Here are two that are available online: (1) Neuromuscular Performance and Balance During the Menstr…moreThe Resources chapter lists references by chapter. Here are two that are available online: (1) Neuromuscular Performance and Balance During the Menstrual Cycle (2) Water Retention Linked to Changes in Sex Hormone Levels

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Start your review of Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life
Aug 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
For a book written by a PhD, this book makes a lot of specious claims, gives statistics in a way that is misleading, and in general seems to do a lot of hand-waving about the specific recommendations its making. For example: in one info block, the claim is made that intermittent fasting can cause "adrenal fatigue"--not a real disease. Many of the recommendations about pregnancy and training are contradictory or confusing (you should exercise 30-60 min, 3xweek or 45-90 min--which is it?), and alt ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Here's some things I got out of the book:

For females, low-carb, high fat and protein diets and intermittent fasting result in muscle loss, not fat loss. Boo. It can pause periods. This is bad. Eat some protein and carbs within half an hour of hardcore exercise.

It's harder to smash HIT exercises a week before your period. You'll feel low on energy and that's because you are. Once your period starts though, your hormones drop back down and it's on like donkey kong.

Menopause does not sound fun, and
Steph Myers
So, I decided to run a marathon. Long story, but a friend is traveling to Duluth to do Grandma's Marathon and told her I would do the half. It sold out same day and I sucked it up and clicked the button for the full. It was a lapse of sanity. I can admit that now. This title fell into my lap when I told my dentist about the race. She recommended it. And it has been a solid, sound recommendation. It is not only focused on female physiology, but female biochemistry over the years and how to proper ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, did I ever need this book.

This book covers female athletes from young adulthood, through perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause. It compare contrasts how female athlete bodies are different from male athletes and how much of the research regarding nutrition, fueling, hydrating, conditioning largely ignore the particulars of female physiology, which hinders our performance and causes a myriad of issues such as GI distress, bloating, dehydration, and more...

Then you get the information
Rachel León
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I've been on a health and fitness kick this year and this new book was a fantastic read. Fitness advice centers around men and their needs, but as the author reminds the reader, women are not small men. I learned a lot from reading this book and I already feel stronger and better after following some of the author's tips. Some of it felt like information overload to my nonscientific brain, but overall it's a great read for any woman interested in fitness. ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nutrition
A few good takeaways. I was looking for more specific information and recommendations. I found the advice very broad for a book with a targeted audience.
Liz Young
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Mostly skimmed the second half. Wasn't a big fan -- seemed like some of the information isn't totally accurate and not relevant to me. I was mostly interested in how I can better my eating but ended up with a lot of tips for very serious athletes ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. Good hook -- women are not small men. I don't doubt the author's info on hydration because that's her field. I am less convinced by her prescriptions for supplements. ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a woman who is into fitness, whether new to it or fairly well acquainted, chances are that this book will have something for you.

As the excerpt says, women are not small men. This should not be a revelation to most reading this, but unfortunately the fitness industry tends to lump all their training programs together without any accounting for the specific needs of women. Stacy T. Sims, PhD, who holds her PhD in Environmental Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition, saw this need in
Sarah Clement
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are too many of these books out there at the moment - books that are given an air of authority because of the author's qualifications and endorsed by a particular community of fitness and health enthusiasts. The book basically boils down to the old, tired trope of using body types to determine how you should eat and train. It's useless, not proven, and particularly not valuable for the majority of the population that is somewhere in between the 3 standard body types. I can't understand the ...more
Viv JM
4.5 stars

Stacy Sims mantra is "You are not a small man. Stop eating and training like one" and this book is a really excellent and in-depth look at the science behind these physiological differences and their effects on performance and health. It is a book I would recommend to all sporting and active women and one which I feel I have learned a lot from. The only downside, for me personally, was that it is very much aimed at those involved in endurance sports (perhaps because Sims comes from a tr
Laurie Allin
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I've never had a nutrition book really speak to me the way this one did. Her battle cry is: Women are not just small men. And really gets into the physiology of how we're different and why that matters. But she manages to do so in a way that is still easy to read without going all Sheldon Cooper on us. I took a ton of notes on this and then just decided to buy my own copy, which I'm looking forward to re-reading and highlighting the heck out of. ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sport
This was excellent. I learned so much about a topic I had no idea about--the effects of the hormone cycle on performance and hydration. I definitely recommend this book to all women and coaches.
Michelle Kilty
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: running, health
There is some really solid information. However, like some other reviewers have noted, she sometimes slips into pseudoscience and presents possibilities as facts. I hope there will be more books like this in the future, because while some information is useful, other parts are questionable.

I think the Run Fast, Eat Slow books are actually way more useful.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good for women who want to know how to be healthy! A tip I liked: one study shows 54 year old women need an hour of exercise a day to minimize weight gain, which is a lot more than the usual recommendation. Also, don't fill up on so much fiber that you're not getting in other nutrients you need because you feel full. (Note: some swearing.) ...more
Jessica Larsen
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ordering my own copy! So much good stuff in here.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great for female athletes - even recreational

Absolutely loved the science and advice in this book. I was impressed by the authors ability to write about science accurately in a way that is easily understood
This was okay.

Main strength: Women are not little men, and training like little men does our body a disservice. I also like that Sims recommends using real food to meet your energy and hydration needs. I think this is wise advice.

I learned two things from this book:

1. A woman’s performance can be impacted by hormones (aka where she is in her cycle). Seems like a no brainer, but not something I had really read much about. In fact, I would have thought performance would be worse during the actual
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and was surprised to discover that it was written well before Lyle McDonald wrote his 400 page 1st Volume of the Woman's Book. A lot of the topics he touches, were already wonderfully explained here. She goes into detail about not only how to work with your menstrual cycle, but also what exactly is happening during menopause and pregenancy as well.
Her dieting advice is also good, even with an example for a vegan diet and how vegetarians need to make sure to be getting in eno
Stephanie O'keefe
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by my running coach. It is a bible of women’s nutrition! One of the main reasons I never got on the keto or low-carb bandwagon is because it never made sense to me. Women have different nutritional (NOT just caloric) needs than men. This was particularly evident to me in the case of pregnancy and breast-feeding. During those times I knew that if I restricted carbohydrates I would feel worse and/or my milk supply would drop. Also, when I first read a book about the ...more
Chelsea Daniels
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved the info, a lot was even new to me. Catering nutrition to performance is something I haven't tried, so I've been putting some of her concepts into practice. Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to come back here and give a rave review! I wish there were more clear menu plans, like a full week's worth, especially in the section on body types. Overall, I like Sims' writing style and found certain chapters hard to put down. I was inspired to start back up on MyFitnessPal to track macros rat ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is some very good information here about women and how their bodies work. I felt like although I’m pretty Fit this book wasn’t geared to me. There was far more information for those training for marathons or triathalons. Not much practical for the everyday fitness enthusiast. I would like to see a book like this more geared to the everyday woman. Still 4 stars though because like I said there is good information here if you can weed through what you don’t need.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
It’s great that someone approached an optimum performance book for female bodies. I found the amount of material covered quite wide, and a bit much for one book. I think a reader would find this book a good tool, but not a stand-alone manual. The only part I could find “wrong” was that the author did not state the difference between synthetic hormone (which she lists the dangers of) and bio identical hormones (which do not have these side effects.)
Harriet Kingston
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yes. Yes. Yes! Women are NOT small men and we need to stop eating and training like we are. This book offered so many insights into nutrition, hydration, supplements, strength work, hormones, and recovery. Definitely worth a read if you’re a female athlete, you train or coach women, or you want to make more informed decisions about your body and health. I’m grateful for Stacy and her contributions to this important conversation.
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fantastic nutrition and fitness guide catered to female physiology (over a woman's entire life). Inspirational and informative.
The only thing I thought it was missing was a more general daily nutrition guide for each of the different body types. While the example meal plans were helpful, I would have liked a sample plan that I could use to insert my own meals into.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quite informative with some surprising advice (according to Sims' research) regarding training as a woman. Not all recommendations are completely practical for non-elite athletes, but most of the guidelines are really useful. ...more
Jessica Scott
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Find this really insightful and informative. No gimmicks, no bs. Just straight up research on how to train for strength and endurance as a woman. The hormonal differences are real and have real impact. I fully appreciated that this was not a book on how to get skinny but how to get strong.
Jill Margetts
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Life changing. Why are we not taught about how to work with our cycle and not against it?? Fascinating and actionable read that is changing the way I schedule my training and when I push hard to make progress and when I’m content to rest and recover. This should be required reading for every woman.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a breath of fresh air. A book specifically for women, about women, by a woman who understands the specific needs and differences between what a male athlete and a female athlete needs. There is so much quality information in here I’ll most likely be reading this again.
Cate Haurie
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An indispensable resource for women looking to understand their health and fitness.
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“The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that eating just one serving of lettuce or other vitamin K–rich foods (leafy greens and veggies) a day can cut the risk of hip fracture in half compared to eating just one serving a week.” 0 likes
“performance during PMS: Take 250 milligrams of magnesium, 45 milligrams of zinc, 80 milligrams of aspirin (baby aspirin), and 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed and fish oil) each night for the 7 days before your period starts. Pretraining: Take 5 to 7 grams of branched-chain amino acid supplement (BCAAs) to fight the lack of mojo. These amino acids cross the blood-brain barrier and decrease the estrogen-progesterone effect on central nervous system fatigue. In training: Consume a few more carbohydrates per hour. In this high-hormone phase, aim for about 0.45 gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight (about 61 grams for a 135-pound woman) per hour. In the low-hormone phase (first 2 weeks of the cycle), you can go a bit lower—about 0.35 gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight (about 47 grams for a 135-pound woman) per hour. (For reference: 2.2 kilograms = 1 pound.) Post-training: Recovery is critical. Progesterone is extremely catabolic (breaks muscle down) and inhibits recovery. Aim to consume 20 to 25 grams of protein within 30 minutes of finishing your session. Overall you should aim to get 0.9 to 1 gram of protein per pound per day (a 135-pound woman needs about 122 to 135 grams of protein per day; see the Roar Daily Diet Cheat Sheet for Athletes for more information). THE MARTIAL ARTIST WHO BEAT HER BLOAT It may not be nice to fool Mother Nature, but there are definitely times when you need to trick her a little.” 0 likes
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