Contribute to Science! Dr. Hearris is Recruiting Cyclists and Triathletes

Agreed…but you don’t necessarily have to do this concurrently. As noted above, you can take the learnings form one study and then see if it holds up to other groups.

Adding scope adds costs…we have no idea what the budget is, etc. So this may well be the “best” option available to them.

I’ll just add one other thought - it has already been mentioned how expensive these studies can be. One part of that expense is recruiting subjects. Utilizing the forum to recruit subjects is a great way to do it inexpensively. Alienating Dr. Hearris and / or SIS with hyper-criticism is only gonna make them go elsewhere to recruit subjects, which can likely have the effect of raising project costs, which in turn may make additional studies prohibitive.


I get that, and fully own up to having a hair trigger on this. It’s not a reaction to this specific study. It’s a reaction to trying to find research on women and hearing over and over and over that there is none. And then when you ask why, you get something that sounds like “menstration is confusing.” Or actually, menstration might be confusing, so we won’t even figure out if it is confusing… we’re just going to ignore women. Because menstration. It’s frustrating, to put it mildly.


And similarly with anyone over 40-50 years old. Because you’re old.


What about tri athletes and pure cyclist?
The needs for both are vastly different… the only similarities is that both groups cycle… but one group also runs and swim…

That doesnt seem to affect the study… so… :confused:

And really it’s ok if we ignore women because men are a good baseline for the default human. But don’t worry, we’ll add the obligatory sentence at the end of the conclusion that says more research is needed on women specifically, just in case we’re right about those hormones. We’re not insensitive to the problem, we just can’t do anything about it right now, because it’s hard and expensive and complicated and it’ll corrupt our data quality and if we can’t publish anything what then? You should give us a break, we’re trying our best.


Somehow I can’t help be cynical, and if it goes a certain way, SIS will use the study to support a new product(s) that deliver “optimal nutritional strategy to enhance recovery.” And to be fair, I am interested in the results but hope some type of control group is eating the type of pro cyclist endurance athlete diet you can read about and implement yourself. I’m thinking this is likely marginal gains stuff at best, assuming you already have a handle on how to fuel endurance training.

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But that sounds like a more expensive way to go about things to me - you’re unnecessarily duplicating parts of the process and the costs associated with them. If you can’t get the funding to do the study properly to start with, what makes you think that even more funding is magically going to appear for a follow-up? So the likelihood is that that follow-up just never happens, and the results of the original hobbled study are assumed to be ‘good enough’ for everyone.

Sure, it can be more expensive to do the research in stages, and also possible that the next stage never occurs….

But from a budgetary perspective, sometimes that is just how it needs to breakdown….you have a certain budget available at a certain time of the year. Maybe it is due to grant access, maybe it is due to annual budgeting allocation, etc.

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That may be the practical truth, but to try to justify that situation by suggesting it somehow enables the future research seems dubious at best and, if deployed by the funders/researchers (which, to be fair, I don’t think it was in this case), probably disingenuous.

While I can’t obviously speak directly to this study and its funding, I can tell you from my own experience in doing things like consumer research studies (analogous, but not quite the same thing), this is very often the case. We have big visions of what we want to do in a project, but then start chopping stuff out once we start getting quotes back from research firms.

As budgets, timing and findings then play out, we may come back and do additional work or just call it good. Unfortunately, there is no “hard and fast” answer here.

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Thank you for joining the forum and explaining! What you wrote makes perfect sense. It sounds very difficult to include women in such a study at the moment, which is not your fault. I’m hoping that this changes, and you have something more to go on soon.

I think that most of the ire expressed here is in regard to the broader systemic issues. As a non-scientist, it seems incredulous that we are just a quarter way into the 21st century and still don’t have a good understanding of how female hormones affect metabolism. It seems like the result of decades worth of bias, conscious or not. I’m glad things are finally changing, as you have explained. A little perspective is needed as there are more pressing study topics, like disease, and we’re just talking about marginal gains in sports performance. But the same issues carry into those areas as well. I hope your study goes well and that none of the comments here are taken personally.


I imagine “at the moment” gets tiring.

At what moment will it get easier? If nobody complains, the moment will never come.


You know what would be REALLY cool? If someone studied whether factors such as the menstrual cycle or contraceptive use impact metabolism.


I know you’re being snarky about this, and I COMPLETELY agree with you.

That said…the amount of things we as a species don’t know about…lots of the most basic and widespread things is astounding. It certainly isnt limited to female physiology.

Then, think about the amount of time, money, and expertise that has gone into researching stuff like artificial flavorings, cosmetic medicine, hair growth, etc…I really wonder sometimes where society would be if we just adjust priorities a bit. Christ…we fogured out nuclear fission in like a decade when we decided we cared enough to.

My thought exactly… Sigh. Good thing that as a >40 female cyclist, I’m not concerned about nutrition and recovery at all.

After finishing reading the thread, ETA that we seem to be stuck in a feedback loop: menstruation and female hormones, gasp! make it too difficult to include women in studies, and we don’t know how menstruation et al. affect things because women aren’t included in studies.

What if it’s men who are the problem - after all, women have a predictable progression of hormone levels over time, but men’s hormone levels (which also fluctuate) could be doing anything at any time. Perhaps study results could be nice and easy to figure out without those wildcard men being included.

Which is to say, the assumption of what is the default “normal” is an active choice, not an immutable law of nature.


Me whispering to khg: “… pssst, does it seem like we unintentionally dropped the mic on this topic?”