Description of the menstrual cycle status, energy availability, eating behavior and physical performance in a youth female soccer team

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PALUDO Ana Carolina GIMUNOVÁ Marta MICHAELIDES Marcos KOBUS Magdalena PARPA Koulla

Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Keywords health; power
Description The aim of the study was to describe the menstrual status and perception, risk of low energy availability (LEA) and the presence of orthorexia nervosa (ON) in youth female from a soccer team. Also, verify the possible effect of LEA and ON on physical performance. Data from 19 female players (14.6 & PLUSMN; 1.42 yr) belonging to a soccer team from Cyprus was taken during pre-season. The menstrual cycle status was evaluated by specific questions, LEA by the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q), ON by the ORTO-R questionnaire and physical performance by jump, handgrip and cardiorespiratory exercise tests. Players were separated into the risk of LEA and ON. Comparison and correlation tests were performed with a significance set at p < 0.05. As the main results, 66.7% of players perceived that the menstrual period affects their performance in the game, 83.3% did not communicate with coaches about their menstrual cycle; the prevalence of risk of LEA was 26.3%; players with risk of LEA also presented higher scores ON; neither LEA nor ON presented a significant association with players performance. The findings highlighted that youth players perceived an impact of the menstrual period on performance, but did not communicate with the coach about it. Players with the risk of LEA and high values of ON seem not to be associated with a decrease in physical performance during the pre-season evaluation. Attention is required as the players were assessed once. Monitoring these parameters throughout the sports season is recommended to obtain better clarification about the topic.
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