RED-S stands for relative energy deficiency in sport. Low energy availability causes RED-S. Low energy availability occurs when you do not eat enough calories to cover both exercising calories and the calories required to keep the body working.

Low energy availability causes the body to go into an energy saving mode. In order to conserve energy, body functions are turned down such as hormone pathways and metabolic rate. This can result in many negative health and performance consequences and if not addressed, this can have long-term effects such as increasing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.

Your body weight is not a good indicator if you have RED-S. You can have a stable body weight and still have RED-S. You can be at a healthy weight or overweight and still have RED-S. Rather than body weight here are some signs and symptoms of RED-S:

-Irregular or absent periods in females

-Low sex drive and lack of morning erections in males

-Feeling cold and sluggish

-Digestive issues such as constipation or bloating

-Recurring injuries and illness

-Disturbed sleep and sleeping difficulties

-Feeling anxious, depressed and/or having difficulty concentrating

-Pre-occupation and constantly thinking about food and exercise

If you think that you may have RED-S then you should seek help from a health care professional for further investigation. Overcoming RED-S is about way more than just eating more and exercising less. If you are concerned that you are under fueling or would like help overcoming RED-S, I would love to work with you. For more information my services, contact me by clicking here.

Categories: Megan Kuikman

Megan Kuikman

Hello! I’m Megan Kuikman. I’m a Registered Dietitian with specialized training in sports nutrition. My goal is to help athletes and active individuals achieve a healthy attitude towards health, training, and food. I empower athletes to fuel properly for training in order to restore their health and enhance performance. You can get in touch with me at:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *