Are you Running on Empty?

Are you getting enough nutrition to fill your tank? Nutrition deficiencies are stereotypically thought of as effecting young skinny female runners. You may have even heard the term "female athlete triad syndrome" which described female athletes who have disordered eating, loss of their period, and bone density loss (stress fractures).

It is very important that you know that nutritional deficiency can effect anyone! Male or female. Young or old. Novice or elite. If you do not take in as much calories as you burn, you are at risk.

This does not mean you have to have disordered eating. You might just be simply unaware that you are not taking in as many calories as you need or not getting the balance of nutrients that you need (protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals). This is why medical professionals, nutritionists, and mental health counselors are now using the term RED-S. RED-S stands for "relative energy deficiency in sport." It does not limit the condition to the more severe cases of female athlete triad. We no longer have to wait until you're depleted enough to have stress fractures and loss of period (or depleted testosterone for males) to raise the alarm about nutritional deficiencies.

As always, we'd like to remind you that the gains happen during the recovery (sleep, nutrition, slow/rest days) NOT during the workout!

Our colleague Rebecca McConville, RD, LD, CSSD, CEDRD ( put together this great infographic and gave us permission to share it.

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