Health and Performance Risks of Underfuelling

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A new study* has found that stress fractures are a whopping 4.5 times more common in athletes suffering from RED-S, or relative energy deficiency in sport, due to inadequate nutrition. 😱

Over time, underfuelling leads directly to depleted energy levels, menstrual cycle irregularities in females, low testosterone levels in males, stress fractures, and for many, repeating cycles of injury and recovery. This doesn’t just affect elite athletes, weekend warriors & recreational athletes are at risk too and often less likely to notice or be aware of these issues.

I sadly see a lot of this in my daily work with all types of athletes from dancers to netball to athletics, males and females. It is totally preventable with specialist nutrition advice from an experienced practitioner. Working with a Sports Medicine team, notably a Sports Dietitian & Sports Dr, is absolutely essential to overcome RED-S and put health first over performance. 

Other signs of RED-S include fatigue, low mood, low sex drive, digestive problems, altered hormone levels, low iron levels and many more.

Recently, Rosa Flanagan, a high performance runner in NZ spoke to Radio New Zealand about her experiences with RED-S, and it is highly valuable to listen or read the article here

If you think you may be suffering with energy deficiency, please see a sports medical professional. We are here to help you and keep you as healthy as you can be. 

*Reference: International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): 2018 Update, Mountjoy et al.