Calcium For Female Runners

Calcium For Female Runners

If you are a girl and run a lot of mileage like myself or you probably run more than me, you need to pay special attention to your bones.   You run to have a healthier lifestyle and for a stronger heart, but constant pounding directly impacts your bone strength.  Runners excrete calcium through sweating and over-training without proper nutrition will lead to irreversible bone loss and stress fractures in the bones of the ankles, feet and lower legs.

Doctors recommend that we consume at least 1,000 – 1,500 mg of calcium a day, a glass of skim milk contains about 300 mg (See below for other foods contain calcium).  For best absorption of calcium, it is recommended to consume 500 mg of calcium or less at one time.  Most women runners are calcium deficient and consume less than one-half the recommended daily intake putting themselves at risk for serious bone problems such as osteoporosis and muscle cramps.

Although unlikely to get the disease, the risk is slightly higher for female runners than males.  Women runners who are over 35 years old, small boned, of Asian or Caucasian decent, smoke, or are calcium deficient have a higher risk of osteoporosis.    I know for certain that I don’t get that much calcium in my diet through foods.  I take calcium supplements to help me get the recommended intake. There are the calcium chews or calcium pills you can take to supplement your diet.  Just be aware not to take more than the recommended daily intake of calcium because that will also lead to other problems.

Lots of calcium rich foods are fattening like cheese, and icecream but you can find lots of foods which are low in fat but also have high calcium content.  Consider the following foods which will help fortify your bone strength.

Foods Calcium Content (mg)
6 oz of Yogurt 350
1 cup of Milk 300
1 cup Calcium-Fortified Orange Juice 300
1/2 cup Tofu 258
3 oz Salmon 180
1 cup Broccoli 178
1/4 cup Almonds 85
1 cup cooked Butternut Squash 84
1 cup Celery 54

Related Running Tips:

  1. Nutrition for Female Vegetarian Runners
  2. Stretching for runners
  3. Know Your Limits
  4. Strength Training For Runners
  5. What to eat for post race recovery
  6. Sports Bra Reviews
  7. What to eat before a race



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