Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)
Prepared by  Prepared by: Christine May, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission)
evaluated by  Evaluation by: AIS Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission) (August 2017)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 18 April 2019
Please refer to the Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer page for
more information concerning this content.

iStock, 466234704


Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), is a syndrome which can adversely affect the health and performance of athletes. It exists when there is a negative balance between dietary energy intake and the energy expenditure required to support optimal health, daily living activities, growth, and sport.     

Although much of the research and literature relating to RED-S has been an outgrowth from studies of the 'Female Athlete Triad', it is important to note that the condition can affect men and women, able-bodied and disabled populations, and individuals of various races.

Athletes, parents, coaches, and medical practitioners need to understand the signs, symptoms, and dangers of RED-S in order to identify athletes who are in danger of developing, or already have, the syndrome and to determine an appropriate treatment. 

Key Messages 


RED-S may affect men or women. It is most prevalent in sports/activities where leanness/weight are important for performance; aesthetics/appearance; or to meet a weight category.


RED-S is caused by low energy availability and can have long-term health impacts for both women and men.


Diagnosis and treatment of RED-S should be completed by a team of medical specialists.

Clearinghouse members

Please login to unlock this topic

Please contact us if you are experiencing any difficulty accessing the Clearinghouse information resources that you require.
If you are not a member of the Clearinghouse for Sport please join now

Related Topics


Is this information complete? 

The Clearinghouse for Sport is a sector-wide knowledge sharing initiative, and as such your contributions are encouraged and appreciated. If you would like to suggest a resource, submit a publication, or provide feedback on this topic, please contact us.
Alternatively, if you would like to be kept up to date with research and information published about this topic, please request a research profile setup.