Are you at risk of Red-S?

Woman in a red crop top leaning against a brick wall in an exercise studio with a dumbbell in her hand

For many years, the Female Athlete Triad was a recognised condition characterised by:
– energy deficiency with or without disordered eating
– menstrual disturbances/amenorrhoea
– bone loss/osteoporosis.
However, this classification failed to recognise that male athletes (whilst obviously not suffering from amenorrhoea) could also be at risk of this condition. The new name: Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (Red-S) more correctly identifies what the problem is without suggesting that only women are affected.

In my opinion, Red-S doesn’t diminish the condition in the same way as the term ‘female athlete triad’ which sounds like something trivial. This BBC article tells the stories of Anna Boniface and Sam Woodfield: The athletes starving themselves for success

You may also want to listen to the accompanying radio broadcast: Eating disorders in sports (50-minutes)

Whilst not wishing to suggest that I have ever suffered from Red-S, about 10 years ago I went through a period of disordered eating for many months. I lost a significant amount of weight, whilst also training for 15+ hours a week. I experienced fatigue and amenorrhoea. If I hadn’t made changes to my diet and exercise levels, I believe my health would have significantly deteriorated.

Read more about Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.