We look at one study following female endurance runners that says nutrition might be key
In a recently published study looking at the effects of providing nutritional education and implementation in female athletes and the rate of bone stress injuries shows that when we educate ourselves and are in a positive environment, we may help prevent future injury. The study focused on increasing energy availability and nutritional coaching for runners with elevated Female Athlete Triad risk.
Evaluating female distance runners at two NCAA Division I institutions over the course of 10 years, this study looked at the effect of nutritional education on the rate of bone stress injury among the women. Measured from 2010 through 2013, the runners were followed through 2020, and provided with education focused on increasing and optimizing energy availably, along with one-on-one nutrition coaching for runners with elevated Female Athlete Triad risk.
Among the runners studied, it was shown the longterm effects of this education had a significant effect on the rate of trabecular-rich bone stress injuries after the initial study was completed, dropping significantly from 0.18 to 0.10 events per person-year from the historical to intervention phase (p=0.047). They also found the institution played a role, with the overall bone stress injuries dropping at one institution, but not the other. Thus, they found that nutritional education and implementation, along with team environment, culture and resources may play important roles in reducing risk of injury.
Fredericson M, Roche M, Barrack MT, Tenforde A, Sainani K, Kraus E, Kussman A, Miller Olson E, Kim BY, Fahy K, Miller E, Diamond E, Meraz S, Singh S, Nattiv A. Healthy Runner Project: a 7-year, multisite nutrition education intervention to reduce bone stress injury incidence in collegiate distance runners. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2023 May 8;9(2):e001545. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2023-001545. PMID: 37180969; PMCID: PMC10174024.