The Daily Telegraph

Dr Emma Ross on … What every girl should know about puberty and sport


Girls are still great athletes during puberty – even though they might feel like they are changing enormously. It can take two to three years for girls to really get used to having a regular menstrual cycle, which is going to affect girls physically and emotionall­y. Girls have a more emotional relationsh­ip with food than boys. Boys will eat to fuel, and there is no stigma attached to eating big plates of food. That is different for girls – society creates this dangerous image of what they should look like. Girls may have a slight plateau in athletic performanc­e, as they experience a greater distributi­on of fat mass as a result of the sex hormones oestrogen and progestero­ne. The message I always give, though, is stick at your sport.

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