Mount Maunganui-based Dr Stacy Sims is one of the speakers in this year's TEDx Tauranga event.

Sims is an environmental exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist specialising in sex differences.

Her key message is that women are not small men, so we should stop eating and training like one. The biggest misconceptions are eating and hydrating with a one-size-fits-all approach.

"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.


"I rowed in university, and being compared to the men's team became the defining moment for the work that I've spent the last 20 plus years doing," she says.

Her book ROAR, co-authored with Selene Yeager, is a comprehensive, physiology-based nutrition and training guide designed to help female athletes prepare for their training, events and lifestyle.

It deals with topics such as how to navigate your menstrual cycle, the menopause years, cortisol and stress, nutrition needs, and more.

"The book helps readers determine and reach peak performance weight, build lean muscle, strengthen bone, and boost power and endurance. And because a woman's physiology changes over time, entire chapters are devoted to menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause," she explains.

She says the difference in male and female athletes' performance isn't fitness or their motivation; it is the fact that female physiology changes with hormone perturbations.

The status quo is to ignore that, and train like men.

"Sex hormones have a huge influences on so many different aspects of the body, from endocrine and metabolic systems to fluid balance and thermoregulation cognition reaction times; macronutrient needs, recovery, sleep and immunity. Women need to know this so they can maximise their potential," she says.

Sims, an applied researcher, innovator and entrepreneur in human performance, lives in Mount Maunganui with her husband and young daughter. She has worked at universities from Otago to Stanford, and is currently a senior research fellow at the University of Waikato.


She's the co-founder and CEO of Osmo Nutrition and has worked as a nutrition specialist for top professional cyclists, ultra-swimmer Jamie Patrick, the USA Cycling Olympic Team, and many others.

TEDx is an international movement dedicated to bringing ideas worth spreading to communities around the world. It's done through independently-organised TED-like events that are all about celebrating locally-driven ideas, and elevating them to a global stage.

What: TEDxTauranga 2019
Where: Holy Trinity, Devonport Rd
When: June 22, 10am-5pm
Tickets: Adults $89, students/seniors $69
More info: Speakers are Dr Stacey Sims, Leo Murray and Nick Bowers.
Find more about Dr Stacy Sims on her Facebook page.