Are you in your fitness era but feel confused about how to properly fuel your body for performance? Wondering why you’re perpetually experiencing symptoms of a sluggish thyroid or imbalanced hormones? On this week’s episode of What’s The Juice Podcast, we delve into the world of women’s hormones as related to athletic performance and nutrition. 

Lauren Papanos, MS, RD, CSSD is a registered dietician nutritionist, hormone specialist, and sports performance expert. Lauren approaches women’s health from a functional medicine perspective and helps women to heal their bodies with a root cause approach. In this episode, we talk about the importance of optimizing carbohydrate and fat intake for both fitness and hormone health, touching on popular diets and what they get right and wrong. Lauren explores the many factors that affect womens’ thyroids including nutrient deficiencies (hint: minerals!), gut health, heavy metals, mitochondrial function and PCOS. We also chat about how to increase your mineral intake, her favorite foods and supplements for hormone health, her ideal exercise split (including why we should incorporate full body resistance training and zone two cardio), and the best meals for pre and post-workout as well as weight training days.

As a competitive cheerleader in college, Lauren quickly learned the importance of fueling her body intentionally and strategically. Her insatiable curiosity about sports nutrition eventually led her to go on to pursue a Bachelor’s in dietetics, a Masters in integrative nutrition and an early career in collegiate dietetics at UCLA, USA Swimming, and Texas Tech football. Studying the lab panels of thousands of high performing athletes piqued her interest in the nexus of women’s sports nutrition and functional medicine, which she now specializes in. If you think you know a lot about either of these topics, think again because Lauren is an absolute force to be reckoned with when it comes to this stuff. She’s beyond brilliant at taking complex, esoteric scientific topics and breaking them down in a super tangible way that everyone can benefit from and understand. Seriously, you’ll want to grab a notepad for this one – it’s like a whole nutrition course in one podcast episode!


  • What she learned from looking at the panels of UCLA athletes while working as a dietitian in collegiate athletics 
  • Why it’s important that female athletes are getting monthly periods for hormone health
  • What lean PCOS is and how it presents differently than adrenal based PCOS 
  • Why your nutritional intake during training hours should be vastly different than your nutritional intake outside of your training window and how to model them
  • Why eating fat and supplements around your workouts is problematic
  • What the bodybuilder diet got right and wrong 
  • The purpose of “refeed days” and why they are beneficial for hormone health 
  • The many risks of women going on a low carb, high fat diet for extended periods of time
  • The connection between hypothyroidism, mitochondrial health and liver health
  • What functional labs you should order if you suspect you have an issue with your thyroid and what the markers are telling you 
  • If hair mineral tests are accurate measurements of your mineral levels and why we should care about minerals in the first place
  • How to increase your mineral intake just from your diet (+ why most of us are low in certain minerals!)
  • The importance of feeding your gut microbiome lots of vegetables for proper hormone and thyroid function
  • The best nutrients to support your mitochondrial function (and a lifestyle tip!)
  • Why it’s absolutely critical that we detox our livers in a systematic way to avoid unwanted symptoms and a cascade of issues (hint: you need to be pooping daily)
  • How to relieve constipation holistically 
  • Why androgen is really more of a stress hormone than a sex hormone
  • How overexercising can negatively impact your adrenals
  • How to properly implement concurrent training and the ideal workout split for overall health that includes both zone 2 cardio and resistance training
  • The easy hack she recommends to lower your cortisol levels post workout
  • An ideal week of eating for both muscle and hormone health
  • Why hormones are never the root cause rather a symptom of something deeper going on (like a gut imbalance or depleted minerals)
  • Why functional lab testing isn’t always necessary for everybody

Watch the full episode on What’s The Juice YouTube Channel

To support our ad-free show, shop Olivia’s line of herbalist-formulated supplements for digestion, anxiety, thyroid support, and more by visiting Our most loved formulas are: GlucoBitters for blood sugar balancing, insulin resistance and PCOS, Liver Juice for acne and liver detoxification support, and Bloat BFF for fast-acting bloating support.

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Links Mentioned:


Mighty Minerals

Bloat BFF


Beef Liver Meatballs recipe (for thyroid health)

LUMEBOX red light therapy – save 40% off with code “organicolivia

Ask the Herbalist: All About Hypothyroidism + Labs to Ask For episode
Richard Mandelbaum: A New Approach to Lyme Disease episode

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