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Experts contend that pushing the calorie-cutting envelope can potentially backfire and actually lead to negative effects on both your health and performance. Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) is a condition that can affect athletes of any age and sex. RED-S occurs when an imbalance in energy intake and energy output has detrimental effects on bone health, menstrual function (in women), metabolic rate, immune function, cardiovascular health, and psychological health.
Recently, an expert panel brought together by the International Olympic Committee, examined this. Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, or RED-S, was coined to describe health and performance issues that arise when athletes don’t eat enough to cover both training and daily life activities. How is RED-S different from eating disorders? RED-S may overlap with an eating disorder or serve as a risk factor for eating disorder onset, but not necessarily. Even when RED-S does not overlap with a typical eating disorder presentation, energy deficiency can cause major problems with physical and psychological health. One concern in those with RED-S is osteoporosis. Poor bone growth as a result of energy deficiency in young people can lead to stress fractures. In addition, individuals with RED-S evidence increased risk for injury, decreased endurance, and reduced muscle strength, along with decreased coordination, impaired judgment, irritability, and depression. The bottom line is that sports participation should be beneficial, not detrimental to your body. Correctly estimating and addressing energy needs is the single best way to equip your body for the rigors of training. (04/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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