In this episode I speak with triathlete Matt Bach on topic of relative energy deficiency.
Relative Energy Deficiency is a topic that had not much attention until recently. It goes by shorthand REDs, and it is more discussed in context of female athletes as female athlete triad.
Relative energy deficiency is a state when athlete does not fuel their body properly, knowingly or not. It is especially common among endurance and aesthetic athletes, and while research on this topic is pretty scarce, it also affects male athletes!
Here are some of the symptoms of REDs. increased fatigue, decreased recovery and performance, muscle loss and resistance to fat loss and even fat gain, loss of periods and libido and possibly infertility, and from the long-term perspective bone density loss.
Matt and I discuss the red flags of Relative Energy Deficiency in male athletes as Matt Shares his story from finding out about it to how he overcame it.
Matt Bach won Ironman Maryland in 2014 with a time of 8:51, was the top amateur and 6th overall at Eagleman 70.3 in 2015, then 72nd overall in Kona 2015. Matt has been using UCAN since 2014 – he had GI distress and bonking issues prior to that, but UCAN helped him transform his approach to triathlon nutrition. He is such a big believer that he now works for the company as their Director for their Endurance Business. Matt worked on Wall Street for 9 years prior to making this career change. He lives in Summit, NJ with his wife, two kids (2 and 3 years old), and two long-haired miniature dachshunds. He holds an MBA from Temple University and he loves a good cold beer.
Instagram handle: @IronMattBach
I would like to mention that you will find all the mentioned research and topics or how to connect with my guests linked in description. I have also limited spots open for online nutrition coaching so if you have questions or your are interested in improving your health, body and performance, write me to email@example.com
3:00 Why I have personal interest in RED-S
5:40 Problems with RED-S, how athletes get into the state of Relative Energy Deficiency
8:20 Difference in RED-S between men and women
9:35 Is it normal and fine to be in the state of RED-S for a short period of time?
11:11 Matt's background in endurance sports
11:55 Beginning of the Matt's issues - "The more, the better mentality" , more training and under-fueling. Endurance exercise causes reduction in hormonal health (lower testosterone).
14:45 How Matt noticed the symptoms of RED-S
20:30 How Matt balanced his training to overcome the results of RED-S, such as chronic fatigue and low libido
23:20 How doing less in context of RED-S is better, leads to improved training and body composition
27:30 How Matt started with an endocrynologist to overcome RED-S
30:05 Genetic component of susceptibility to RED-S
31:50 Wrap up: Take away points
Be aware that it can happen to you
Go get bloodwork done if you are experiencing some of the symptoms
34:50 I share a story of my client
The main factors in Relative Energy Deficiency syndrome are: