In part two of Gender and Sex, we discuss the ludicrous idea that the Nazis entered a man into the women’s field of running, “nude parades” at the Olympics, the effects of gender transition on athletic performance and grading, rules governing trans-athletes, and a summary of our off-microphone interview with Kai Scott on how running clubs can be more trans-inclusive.

Science Discussed:

The effect of testosterone on red blood cells and natural variability in testosterone

Since formal tests for female eligibility were introduced in 1966, no man has been identified in a women’s event at international competitions

An interview with Joanna Harper, medical physicist, distance runner, and adviser to the IOC on transgender issues

The history of “gender testing” in the Olympics

Latest research on the prevalence of transgender people in the USA

Hormone replacement therapy for transgender people

Trans women run slower after hormone therapy

Adding or blocking testosterone has major effects on muscle mass and hematocrit

Trans women are no faster than cis women

Transgender people have no competitive edge over cis people

Comprehensive list of athletic trans policies

An interview with Chris Mosier, trans athlete.

Wondering how you can make your running club or other athletic team more trans-inclusive?

Check out TransFocus or the Vancouver Frontrunners’ trans policy for an example.


Episode 5: Gender and Sex – Part 1

So after many many unfortunate events that involved a lab flood, a pair of stolen and destroyed glasses, and more rain than any person should have to stand, we’re happy to present our first podcast!  Alcohol and running–how they mix, should they mix, and what terrible things might happen in the event of their mixing.

As we produce each podcast, we’ll make sure we link up all the studies we cite in the podcast, so here they are in order of mention.

Did you know you can win an Olympic Marathon while eating a combination of brandy and strychnine?  Or that the world mile record while drinking beer is only just a minute slower? Turns out good drinkers can be good runners.

TL:DR version?

It’s not entirely clear what impact alcohol has on athletic performance.  It certainly isn’t a great idea to get drunk before running, but moderate alcohol consumption on a general basis will likely not do any harm.  You’ll also probably be able to run just fine while moderately hungover, but like any other time you run, gauge how you’re feeling and make sure you’re well hydrated.   As for that post-run beer?  Keep it to one or two and you won’t be undoing your good work, but it’s probably not a great idea to have more than that (and that’s probably good advice in general!).

The story of Thomas Hicks

Running increases rat ethanol preference

Runners drink more than non-runners

Exercise on any given day increases the chances of consuming alcohol

Drinking before a run is a bad idea

The Beer Mile!

Hangovers don’t decrease running performance the next morning

VERY hungover mice have a harder time running

A small amount of drinking after a run doesn’t cause problems in muscle repair

A larger amount of alcohol can decrease recovery of peak performance

A small amount of alcohol doesn’t change glycogen replenishment, as long as you eat enough

Drinking a small amount of beer after a run doesn’t worsen dehydration

Enjoy all the sciencey goodness!


Cover photo by digboston is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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