Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Supporting female performance in sport and fitness
Supporting female performance in sport and fitness

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

10 Summary of Session 7

You should now be aware of what RED-S is, how it is caused and its relation to bone fractures and osteoporosis. You should also appreciate the impact of RED-S on the menstrual cycle and the negative impact it has on important systems of the body. You should know what signs of RED-S to look out for and what steps can be taken to support female athletes experiencing RED-S.

The main learning points of this seventh session are:

  • Relative energy deficiency syndrome (RED-S) occurs when the body uses more energy than is being taken on over a prolonged period of time.
  • Low energy availability can lead to a disruption in the menstrual cycle, loss of periods, and eventually bone fractures.
  • RED-S can also affect the cardiovascular, immune, digestive and endocrine systems.
  • RED-S has a range of causes, but it is closely linked to the belief that being lighter will produce a better performance.
  • Low energy availability disrupts the menstrual cycle resulting in less oestrogen production and a shortage of oestrogen can affect bone density.
  • Low oestrogen levels in females before their menopause is a major risk factor in developing osteoporosis in later life.
  • As well as disruptions to the period, other signs of RED-S are a pre-occupation with food and eating, excessive tiredness, poor recovery and a decline in athletic performance.
  • RED-S can be prevented by ensuring energy intake matches the demands of an athlete’s training, recovery, and daily activities.
  • The treatment of RED-S requires a team approach, including a doctor, sports nutritionist and sport psychologist.

In the next and final session, you will look at effective ways to communicate with female athletes.

You can now go to Session 8 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .