Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) in Canadian high performance athletes: Prevalence, health and performance implications
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) was first characterized by the International Olympic Committee in 2014 and characterizes a range of negative health (endocrine function, bone health) and performance outcomes that result from chronically low energy availability. Despite recognition of its significance for health and performance, and a prevalence rate of 3-60% in athletes, our ability to correctly assess and diagnose RED-S remains poor. Further, RED-S concerns high performance junior and senior athletes across Canada, where effects are seen beyond the degree of success at major championships, including the cost of health care and long-term consequences for athletes diagnosed with RED-S. Accordingly, our aim is to create the best parameters to diagnose and manage RED-S; along with information of the prevalence and severity of RED-S across sports in Canada and globally; educate the athletes on the risks of long-term RED-S and of the ways to avoid RED-S; and to provide refined recommendations for protein and energy intake for high level endurance athletes, across a range of energy availability levels (low to optimal).