Female talk! While we appreciate there are numerous genders this article discusses how sport, sweat and heat can all cause chaos for women in sport.
No matter what your level of fitness, whether you walk the dog, run marathons or have just taken up hand gliding, there are some things that no one ever tells you! I had to learn the hard way and I want to save you discomfort, (down there) and trips to the chemist.
Please note I am not a doctor, if your symptoms persist or you notice unusual changes, odors, discharge consult your medical team immediately. You should also ensure that your Cervical Smears are up to date.
Training hard, hours in Lycra, heat, sweating and sugary drinks are all well and good, but they are also a perfect breeding ground for a yeast infection: Thrush.
We also have to contend with our monthly cycle (not the one on the bike), peri-menopause and menopause. These can affect mood and performance as I'm sure you are all well aware of, so please don't add to an already busy area!
So what's a female sports woman to do? You need to wear tight fitting clothes, you do sweat and you will at times need sugar to keep you going.
I found the answer, it's cheap and it works! Hallelujah!!
Apple Cider Vinegar.
I'm sure just the name is enough to make you gag but hear me out! I used to suffer dreadfully with Thrush from long distance running and cycling. Yeast loves damp, dark and warm places. While it's nice to be hospitable it's just not pleasant as the host!
I was spending a fortune on creams and pessaries from the chemist and while they would work in the short term they didn't stop re occurrences and discomfort. I had two choices, quit sport or find a better solution.
Research on line, good old doctor google led me to Apple cider vinegar- WITH THE MOTHER. (ACV). That's the essential bit. Research has shown that ACV has anti fungal properties when taken neat and helps to make your body less hospitable to Candida albicans. However, drinking it straight up is bad for your tooth enamel! Make sure you dilute it!
I drink it daily, it's not that bad, honestly, you will get used to it. Besides, which would you rather? After some tried and tested recipes here is the best way I find to drink it.
Lemon and ginger ACV tea.
Boil the kettle
Squeeze some lemon juice into a cup
Crush some peeled ginger, pop the juice and bits into cup
Add a dash of ACV (start small!)
Fill up with boiled water and sip your tea.
You will get used to the taste. It's not that bad, add more lemon and ginger to soften the taste.
I buy my Apple Cider Vinegar in the supermarket or health food shop. Just ensure it has the mother! It's cloudy so give it a good shake. It's not expensive at all, you only need a dash a day!
There are reports that ACV also helps with weight loss, I will admit that it stops sugar cravings. You definitely won't be dunking your biscuits into this tea. It's also has been claimed that it cleanses the system, whitens teeth and can be used as an air freshener.
Ginger is known to settle tummy upsets, reduces wind and reduces inflammation. (Great for Arthritics).
Ayruvedic medicine also credits Ginger as an aphrodisiac!
Lemon are claimed to cleanses the system, balance pH levels, clear s up skin and freshens your breath!
I've been drinking my ACV tea for years now, no trips to the chemist in that time. I was talking to a female Doctor once about it and she said it was the best thing I could do for myself as a sports woman.
So ditch the creams from the chemist and heal from the inside out!
Other essentials for sports women to help stay comfortable.
*Get out of your Lycra/ kit as quickly as you can.
*Shower and dry your intimate area as soon as can.
*Wear loose fitting clothes around the house to allow the area to breathe.
*Avoid sugar and processed foods.
*Cleanse from the inside out, make a cup of ACV tea!
*I avoid thongs too as I found they were not helping matters at all. Wear cotton briefs.
*Limit the amount of time you wear tight fitting clothes, house slob / street catwalk!
Enjoy your sport, training and events. It's great to be sporty, happy, motivated and healthy!
Further Information on Apple Cider Vinegar.
Can ACV treat Candida? Medical News Today
Health Benefits of ACV
Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
About the Author:
Sinéad Kennedy is an Author, Wellness Coach and Solo Travel Expert.
She is also a PhysicalTherapist, Yoga Siromani, Pilates Instructor, founder of Body Blitz Bootcamp and Yoga for Cyclists.
Based online and in person, in both Rathfarnham and Dundrum, South County Dublin. She works with people from all walks of life, helping them to have the courage and correct tools to make positive changes, physical and emotional, in their life.
As a Physio she also works with many athletes, especially cyclists, runners and golfers. Recently featured on the Elaine Show, Today Fm, Newstalk as well as the Irish Independent, FIT Magazine and 2FM. You can follow her on YouTube Channel & Instagram.
A keen cyclist and proud member of Orwell Wheeler's she has completed numerous cycling events including Tour delle Dolomiti, Alto de Letras, Les Cinglés du Mont Ventoux & La Marmotte Sportive. She is an accomplished audax-er having done numerous 200km and 300km routes. Sinéad has also completed three Dublin City Marathons, numerous Adventure Races, Half Marathons and more recently the Art O'Neil Challenge.
Keen to spread the word on all things related to Wellness, Fitness, Coaching and Travel.