Diet and Health Issues

Olivia joined the track team in her first year of university. She trained hard, became a lean, strong sprinter. Sports and exercise are a sensible choice and people who play sports are healthier; get better exam results, and are happier as a result. They refrain from the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs as they care for their bodies.
If you’re constantly on the go between work, gym workout with your personal trainer, and competitions you may be tempted to skip meals and snacks to save time.
Take a packed-lunch with quick and easy favourites such as bagels, string cheese, unsalted nuts and seeds, raw vegetables, granola bars, and fruit. Do it for you. Pressure from colleagues, parents, or friends can ruin a fun activity. If you’re not enjoying your sport, make a change. Remember: It’s your body and your life. You — not your coach or teammates — will have to live with any damage you do to your body now.

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (Red-S)

When the coach told Olivia that losing the extra body fat would improve performance, she slowly started restricting calories in her diet and increased the intensity and duration of her workouts. But not eating enough calories, she wasn’t able to keep up with the energy demands of her training programme. Avoiding certain types of food she thought were “bad”, in doing this, she felt tired, weak, dizzy, and faint and decreased ability to concentrate her intense training and disciplined diet are helping her performance, they may actually be hurting her and her health.
Even in sports where body size and shape aren’t as important, such as distance running and cross-country skiing, participants may be pressured by teammates, parents, partners, and coaches who mistakenly believe that cutting out more calories could improve their performance. The truth is, losing weight or restricting calories generally doesn’t improve performance at all. It just interferes with healthy body processes such as menstruation and bone development. Diet plays a vital role in our lifestyle.
Under-fuelling for her training regime had also been deteriorating her bones. Low oestrogen levels and poor nutrition, especially low calcium intake, can lead to osteoporosis it may lead to a weakening of the bones due to the loss of bone density and improper bone formation, stress fractures and other injuries. People who are fit and active enough to compete in sports generally have more muscle than fat, so it’s the muscle that gets starved when they cut back on food.
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport can affect either male or female athletes – the condition can cause a range of health problems in men and women including a drop in hormone levels, a deterioration in bone density, a drop in metabolic rate and mental health problems are also factors.
Red-S and became a recognised condition in 2014- replacing another condition called female athlete triad, which recognised the effect of too few calories among sportswomen only.

Psyched Out

She was too busy with exams, coursework and social events to notice that her period had stopped. No periods or irregular periods is one of the warning signs of Red-S for female athletes.
Many people have apprehensions about the size and shape of their bodies, leading to a preoccupation with food and weight and being highly competitive. Partaking in sports where a thin outward appearance is sought-after can also put athletes at risk. Sports such as diving, figure skating, gymnastics, and ballet express a need for the leanest body shapes. Athletes’ may even communicate scores coaches or judges and be told that losing weight would higher their final results. But this may lead to reduced physical performance. Athletes participating in a sport that requires them to train extra hard such as athletics, cycling and dancing, where being light could make a significant difference to the outcome of their performance. Young athletes care so much about their sports that they would do almost anything to improve their performance. They try to lose weight as a way to improve their athletic performance. Martial arts and rowing are examples of sports that classify athletes by weight class, so focusing on weight becomes an important part of the training program and can put them at risk for disordered eating.

Getting Help


Talking to a psychologist or therapist can help her deal with depression, pressure from coaches or family members, or low self-esteem and can help her find ways to deal with her problems other than restricting food intake or exercising excessively.