In the latest episode of Fast Talk Femmes, we learn more about RED-S, its effects on female endurance athletes, and ways to prevent it.

In our latest Fast Talk Femmes show, we’re joined by Dr. Emily Kraus as we dive into the complex topic of RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport). As both a medical professional and accomplished endurance athlete, Dr. Kraus has a deep and impressive resume, and although she boasts expertise across a wide range of sports medicine topics, the focus of this show is primarily on RED-S.

RED-S can be described as a syndrome of poor health and declining athletic performance that occurs when athletes do not eat enough fuel to support the energy demands of their training and daily life. While it can affect athletes of any gender or ability level, it is especially prevalent among female endurance athletes—and it’s here that we truly tap into Dr. Kraus’ knowledge.

Dr. Kraus is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine at Stanford Children’s Orthopeadic and Sports Medicine Center. She’s also the Director of the Stanford Female Athlete Science and Translational Research (FASTR) Program and the Medical Director at the Motion Analysis and Sports Performance Lab.

In the show, she highlights the effects of RED-S on female endurance athletes and ways to identify it, as well as prevention strategies that female athletes and their coaches can employ to proactively avoid it. We refer to this paper—Patience Through Puberty—in the show.

Interestingly, through our discussion with Dr. Kraus, we discover that at the core of RED-S is the issue of energy availability, yet it is not as easy as simply calculating energy in and energy out. While wearables have allowed us to better quantify the complete picture of energy expenditure, energy intake continues to be a tricky thing to accurately calculate. Dr. Kraus helps us understand how we can be measure this in more practical ways.

RED-S was also discussed in episode 103 of Fast Talk Femmes: Fueling for Performance with Dr. Dana Lis.

To learn more on this topic, check out Running on Empty: Low Energy Availability and Effects on Performance.

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