Relative Energy Deficiency – Sport (REDS)

Relative Energy Deficiency – Sports, or RED-S, is one of the biggest emerging themes within sports nutrition. It is more than just a matter of insufficient calorie intake and it affects both males and females. It may also strongly contribute to over-reaching and overtraining. The top researchers in this field are conducting an international survey and need your help.

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Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) – a concept identified and supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – characterizes a range of negative health (impaired endocrine function, bone health, illness and injury, potentially elevated protein requirements) and performance (endurance and strength) outcomes that result from chronic (>weeks to months) low energy availability (EA). Despite wide recognition of its significance for athlete health and performance, our ability to correctly assess and diagnose RED-S remains poor. Furthermore, awareness of RED-S among elite athletes, coaches and physicians remains poor.

In order to enhance our understanding on various RED-S risk factors and to improve our ability to screen athletes for RED-S, we are distributing a questionnaire (20-30 min) that asks athletes questions around potential RED-S signs and symptoms.


With the questionnaire we are targeting athletes, female and male, recreational to high performance, able bodied and para-athletes, ages >15 years old.

Yes that means you Pez fans!

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Please take part in the questionnaire in the language of your choice below!





What is in it for athletes?

RED-S concerns high performance junior and senior athletes around the world, 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. The results of these three studies will: 1) inform us of the best parameters to use in the early diagnosis, and management of RED-S; 2) provide information of the prevalence and severity of the problem across sports, and in females and males, at various athlete levels as well as produce global prevalence data on RED-S; 3) provide further information and education on the risks of long-term RED-S and of the ways in which the athlete can avoid developing RED-S.  We hope these outcomes will inform improved RED-S diagnoses and ultimately the health and performance of athletes in the future.

Please let us know if you have extra questions,

The Research Team,

Ida Heikura, PhD [email protected]

Trent Stellingwerff, PhD [email protected]


Research team:

Principal Investigator:
Trent Stellingwerff, Ph.D., FACSM
Director of Performance Solutions, Innovation & Research 
Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (CSI Pacific) / University of Victoria (UVIC) / University of British Columbia

Ida Heikura, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral research fellow
UVIC / CSI Pacific



Margo Mountjoy, MD PhD, CCFP (sem) FCFP FACSM Dip Sport Med, IOC Medical Commission-Games group, FINA Sports Medicine, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

Paddy McCluskey, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CSI Pacific, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Kathryn Ackerman, MD, MPH, FACSM, Medical Director, Female Athlete Program, Division of Sports Medicine Boston Children’s Hospital;  Associate Director, Sports Endocrine Research Lab, Neuroendocrine Unit Massachusetts General Hospital;  Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Team Physician, USA Rowing, USA

Louise Burke, OAM PhD APD, Chair of Sports Nutrition, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Exercise and Nutrition Research Program, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

To contact us, please email at: [email protected]

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