Relative Energy deficiency syndrome - 2018 update from the IOC

Simon Bartold18th of May / blog / articles / relative-energy-deficiency-syndrome-2018-update-from-the-ioc


In 2014, the IOC published a consensus statement entitled ‘Beyond the Female Athlete Triad: Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)’.

The syndrome of RED-S refers to ‘impaired physiological functioning caused by relative energy deficiency and includes, but is not limited to, impairments of metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis and cardiovascular health’. The aetiological factor of this syndrome is low energy availability (LEA).

The publication of the RED-S consensus statement stimulated activity in the field of Female Athlete Triad science, including some initial controversy followed by numerous scientific publications addressing:

  • The health parameters identified in the RED-S conceptual model (figure 1).1 4
  • Relative energy deficiency in male athletes.
  • The measurement of LEA.
  • The performance parameters identified in the RED-S conceptual model (figure 2).1 4

The IOC RED-S consensus authors have reconvened to provide an update summary of the interim scientific progress in the field of relative energy deficiency with the ultimate goal of stimulating advances in RED-S awareness, clinical application and scientific research to address current gaps in knowledge.


Health consequences of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) showing an expanded concept of the Female Athlete Triad to acknowledge a wider range of outcomes and the application to male athletes (*Psychological consequences can either precede RED-S or be the result of RED-S



Potential Performance consequences of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (*Aerobic and anerobic performance).

This is a VERY important topic, and there is substantial new information in the 2018 revision.

I urge to  read this new document, which you may access at:


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