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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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,146 ratings  ·  171 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
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…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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 ·  1,146 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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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 ...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
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.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found the chapters on the menstrual cycle really helpful. I've definitely noticed hormone levels effect how I run. The information on hydration and fueling during runs was great.

Other than that, a lot of this book is a miss for me. As a vegan, I found her concern about plant based diets (specifically soy) and amino acids to be way overblown. A quick look at my soy heavy days, and I'm hitting 200% of my recommended leucine that she's so concerned with.

I found the gut flora chapter and the brain
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Hanna Blackschleger
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
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good for women who want to know how to stay/become 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.
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
Purva Brown
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was really excited to get into this book, but it felt a little schizophrenic. I feel like the writer tried to do way too much and came across disjointed.
I was hoping for more information about how to match my training (I am more of a weightlifter than a runner, but I was aware of the problem that would have going on, so not complaining about that) to my cycle, but there was very little about that.
Still, I picked up a few things: more protein, possibly more carbs. And also the fact that when I
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.
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.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very comprehensive detailing about how a woman's body and hormones react differently to exercise (and even fuel!) than men's. Seemed geared more toward professional athletes than the average fit woman, though.
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.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some good information on hydration and nutrition. Too heavy of a focus on BS supplements and buzz phrases like “immune boosting.”
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every women who wants health needs to read this book! I wish I had it as a guide years ago!
Susan Ludwig
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
very interesting look at fitness and food for women.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
So sometimes it's super annoying trying to find fitness books that are not either super manly muscle machine bench-press a truck kind of books or on the other end of the spectrum the bikini body motivational bullshit cutesy puke fest. This book does a pretty good job of focusing on women athletes without the overly feminine fluff or the macho crap.

But. I sometimes wasn't sure who this book was aimed at within the female athlete category. There's a lot of overview of different things and exercise
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book cover to cover in July, and have since been using it as a reference. I wanted to hold my review until I'd been able to implement some of the suggestions.

This book is simply a must read for any female athlete, even a casual one like myself. I wish I had this book decades ago. Who knew that, as the author puts it, women are not small men? I knew my monthly period brought cramps and bloating and I thought those symptoms were the reason I felt sluggish and lacking power in physical
I really wanted to like this more than I did. There are some good nuggets here (the insight on how performance relates to menstrual cycle is a standout, and I will definitely try the pee stick thing!), but not enough for me to really change a ton of what I do. For a good that's supposed to make science jargon related to exercise physiology and nutrition accessible, there was still a lot of challenging concepts that were difficult for the science-challenged person like myself. Also, and this is ...more
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“Fifty percent of polled athletes in a 2014 ESPN The Magazine survey reported that menstrual cramps affected their game at some point. The best way to mitigate this is to do some preplanning. In the 5 to 7 days before your period starts, you can reduce the effect of cramp-causing chemicals (specifically PE-2, an estrogen-mediated prostaglandin) by taking magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and low-dose 80-milligram aspirin. Yes, it has to be aspirin, not ibuprofen or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), because aspirin suppresses the production of prostaglandins irreversibly, whereas other NSAIDs are reversible. Headaches” 0 likes
“both rising to the top of their game. Peak 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.” 0 likes
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