By: Emma-Kate Lidbury
As a young girl, as an athlete, as an academic and as a woman, Dr. Stacy Sims has never stopped asking why—even when the questions were tough and the answers tougher. And it’s that relentless pursuit of greater knowledge and insatiable curiosity that has helped her become a world-renowned expert on female physiology, health, and wellness.
She partnered with Momentous because, like us, she wants to help women better understand their bodies and achieve their potential. She was a key player at the Capitol Hill Briefing on Women's Health and Performance that Momentous hosted in D.C. in September.
The event was designed to help raise awareness of the many inequalities that still exist for women in the military, sport, and the health and wellness sector. Given the recent announcement this week from President Biden about the first-ever White House initiative on women’s health research, it’s an exciting time for all involved.
Applying Academic Knowledge
As an academic with a Ph.D. in environmental exercise physiology—and having published almost 100 peer-reviewed papers—Dr. Sims is a highly respected expert who has dedicated the last two decades of her career to undertaking female-specific research with the goal of helping women and girls understand their bodies better.
Her journey started when, as a rower and exercise physiology undergraduate, she couldn’t make sense of why she wasn’t seeing gains in training while her male teammates were. And often as the only female in an exercise physiology lab, she got to compare her results with those of men. “We would look at my results compared to theirs and they would throw my results out,” she said. “I’d say, ‘What the hell? Why are you throwing my results out?’ And they’d just chalk it up to there being an anomaly because they were so different.”
After these types of experiences, and after comparing symptoms and notes with other female athletes, she started to realize this was more than just an anomaly. She was starting to see how female sex hormones and the menstrual cycle had an enormous impact on training and physiology. Yet the more she looked for academic data on this, the more she realized it simply didn’t exist. She focused her Master’s on overtraining in women and that was when, she says, she “really started to dig in.”
"People Are Now Just Starting to Listen"
Now some 20 years later she has published two books on the unique physiological needs of women, Roar and Next Level, launched her own business, and partnered with several leading health and wellness companies (including Momentous), but it hasn’t been an easy road. “I’ve spent the last two decades of my career doing this work, and people are now just starting to listen,” she says.
And making sure her voice is heard and she can help effect change is one of the reasons she partnered with Momentous. “I was introduced to Jeff Byers via Kelly and Juliet Starrett,” she says. The Starretts, movement specialists who co-founded The Ready State, had suggested she might like to develop her own line of supplements, but her immediate response was, “No, I don’t want to work with a supplement company.”
Kelly Starrett assured her that Momentous was no ordinary supplement company. “I had an initial conversation with Jeff and understood his vision,” she says. “I listened to his experience in the NFL and how he wants to make that level of knowledge more readily available for the general population, as well as push forward good policy in sport and health, and I thought ‘I can get behind this.’ I could see that Momentous was a supplement company that had so much more going on behind the scenes.”
Buoyed by a mission and vision closely aligned to her own, she has helped curate a line of products specifically designed for women, including the Peri & Post Menopause Support Bundle and the Anti-Inflammatory Bundle for Women. It’s a far cry from those times in an exercise physiology lab when her results were thrown in the trash, but it’s a journey this pioneering scientist is happy to be on—because she’s finally finding the answers that are so important for women and girls.