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SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Faculty Member Awarded Research Grant to Study Strength Training and Nutrition in the Transgender Community

SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Assistant Professor Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., RD, LD (she/her), was recently awarded the first ever research grant from BarBend Inc. to study the unique nutritional considerations for transgender athletes in strength sports. Bari Glassman, a graduate student in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences from Immaculata University, will be working with Dr. Linsenmeyer on the grant.

Whitney Linsenmeyer
SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Assistant Professor Dr. Whitney Linsenmeyer

In honor of June being Pride Month, this is the first in a series of five articles announcing different initiatives from the Transgender Health Collaborative of Saint Louis University (SLU) that aim to improve healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community.

The team’s research proposal, The TRANSforming Power of Strength Sports and Nutrition, aims to magnify the voices of transgender and gender diverse athletes regarding their experiences with strength sports and exercise and to disseminate nutrition and strength training guidance tailored to the unique considerations of the transgender community.

Dr. Linsenmeyer explained why this topic is such a critical one to address and how support from organizations like BarBend is crucial.

“The BarBend grant is advancing research on strength sports and nutrition for the transgender community. We see a twofold problem, where strength training and nutrition guidance is lacking, and sport culture is not often trans-inclusive,” Dr. Linsenmeyer said. “BarBend’s support of this effort is especially critical when legislation to exclude trans athletes from sports is rapidly progressing across the country.”

BarBend CEO David Tao explained how the organization’s ideas on the inclusivity of strength training and fitness lined up closely with Dr. Linsenmeyer’s proposal and made this potential partnership really stand out.

“Strength is a very personal endeavor, and no two people will respond in the exact same way to training, nutritional and other lifestyle changes that often come along with strength training. To that end, there are a number of groups that have thus far been underserved and understudied when it comes to the science surrounding strength training, cardiovascular health and nutrition; trans lifters and strength enthusiasts are among them,” Tao said. “We're excited to support this research because the knowledge gained can help improve wellness outcomes for many individuals along their respective strength and fitness journeys.”

BarBend Inc. is the holding company of hallmark strength training and sports websites BarBend.com and BreakingMuscle.com. BarBend launched its grant program in late 2021 and this proposal marks the first grant award. The company will continue to support research in the area of strength training by keeping grant applications over for the foreseeable future.

Learn more about work that DCHS and SLU are doing to improve healthcare for the transgender community by visiting the Transgender Health Collaborative.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.