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Energy availability in female athletes and non-athletes taking oral contraceptive pills Open Access


Other title
energy availability
oral contraceptive pills
female athlete
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Drager, Kelly L
Supervisor and department
Harber, Vicki (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
McCargar, Linda (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Bell, Gordon (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The purpose of this study was to estimate energy availability (EA) in healthy females taking oral contraceptive pills (OCP). Participants (n=12 athletes and n=11 non-athletes) completed 2 separate 7-day dietary intake and exercise energy expenditure (EEE) logs across two consecutive pill cycles. Recording started between days 1 - 4 of the individual’s pill cycle. Resting energy expenditure was measured and used to correct MET values to determine EEE. The groups were similar in age, weight, BMI, age of menarche, and gynecological age. Athletes had significantly higher fat free mass and lower percent body fat (p<0.001). Their EA (33 and 31 kcal/kg FFM/day week 1 and 2, respectively) was statistically lower (p<0.001) than the non-athlete group (49 and 47 kcal/kg FFM/day week 1 and 2, respectively). Compared to the EA weight maintenance recommendations reported in the literature, EA values of these athletes are lower.
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