Nutrition knowledge isknowledge of nutrients and nutrition. Nutrition knowledge has been shown toplay an important role in influencing healthy food habits. The functions of thosenutrients undertake in the body, such as, energy, growth and repair, orantioxidants and the various defense mechanisms they operate.
When anindividual is aware on how to meet these nutritional needs this facilitatesfood choices that enhance health and wellness by preventing excess or less ofintake of nutrients that could be associated with ill health (Worsley, 2002). Nutritional knowledge has agreat impact on dietary habits and food choices Inadequate knowledge contributeto inadequate food intake and choices in elite athletes (Cupisti et al, 2002). Physical Activity andNutrition General nutritional principles regarding energy, protein, vitamins,minerals and water apply to physically active individuals of both sexes. Othernutritional requirements specific to women are generally associated with thereproductive function, specifically, menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. Aswell, nutritional forms of prevention and treatment have been recommended forthe pre-menstrual syndrome, osteoporosis and secondary amenorrhea. Blood lossthrough menstruation is a factor in the high incidence of iron deficiency foundin the female population.
Other factors include low dietary iron intake andreduced absorption of iron caused by dietary inhibitors (coffee, eggs, bran andother foods) (Helen Lenskyj, 2002). Other factors affectmenstrual cycle in the Increase of physical activity andcombined with poor eating habits, menstruation and adolescent pregnancycontribute to poor nutritional status of the population. According to theNational Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) Report (2003), the prevalence ofanaemia is 69% among adolescent girls. Micronutrient deficiency disorders inthe adolescent phase result in growth retardation, low immunity to disease andimpaired reproductive functions that contribute to some pregnancy-relateddeaths or result in delivering low birth weight (LBW) babies, thus perpetuatingthe trans generational cycle of malnutrition (Bhaskaram, 2001)The playing of sports during any phase of life is nolonger a “disadvantage” for women. However, female athletes may suffer from somesports-related health problems, including menstrual disorders. The menstrualcycle is characterized by hormone-induced changes within the reproductiveorgans each month.
Each cycle stars at the first day of the menstruation andends before the first day of the next menstruation. The average length of themenstrual cycle is 28 days, while some regular cycles within the range 21-35days may also be encountered (KARACAN et al, 2013). The amount of time spent in this training may have an impact on their overall health. Most athletes will spend many hours week training for their sport.Excessive exercise may be related to the prevalence of an eating disorder,amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. The intent of this review is to determine if theamount of time spent in exercise in the risk of developing the female athlete triad. (CarlaSouthwick, 2008).
Amenorrhea is definedas an absence of menstrual cycles for 3 to 6 consecutive months or no menstrualcycle by age 16 (Golden, 2002). Some of the causes of amenorrhea may include: -exercise, pregnancy, thyroid disease. And other factors affecting that may becontribute to menstrual dysfunction include: energy balance, exercise intensityand training practices, body weight and composition, disordered eatingbehaviors, and physical and emotional stress levels (Manore, 2002). Theinterest for this review is on energy balance relating to disordered eating andexercise intensity. Recent studies have shown thatwomen who exercise strenuously may develop reproductive defects, includingdelayed menarche, shortened luteal phases, and amenorrhea.
(Ding, et al, 1988)Menstruationis part of the female reproductive cycle that starts when girls become sexuallymature at the time of puberty. During a menstrual period, a woman bleeds fromher uterus via the vagina. The menstrual rhythm depends on the hypothalamuspituitary- ovarian function where as the amount of blood loss depends upon theuterine contraction.
The menstrual period time 3 to 7 days. Each periodcommences approximately every 28 days if she is not pregnant during a givencycle. The average rang for most girls are from 10 to 14 years until 45 to 55years. Geographical conditions, racial factors, nutritional standards,environmental influences and indulgence in strenuous physical activity can allaffects the onset of menarche. A woman will have approximately 500 periods inher lifetime. The estimated blood loss is between 50 ml and 200 ml. (Adhikari P2007)