The main purpose of the research project is to increase the knowledge on optimised nutrition for endurance athletes, in order to maintain - or improve – health, and enhance athletic performance.
The learning programme FUEL (Food and nUtrition for Endurance athletes – a Learning programme) consists of internet-based lessons in sports nutrition and personal nutritional guidance adapted to the participant`s training volume.
About relative energy deficiency in sports
Relative energy deficiency occurs when an athlete is subjected to an insufficient energy intake over a longer period of time and when the body as a result reduces its metabolism and basic physiological processes in an attempt to restore the energy balance and prevent weight loss. Relative energy deficiency can lead to hormonal changes, menstrual disorders, an increased risk for injuries, osteoporosis, and reduced performance. Other common symptoms are gastrointestinal problems, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and an increased cholesterol level.
A female athlete may have a stable weight but still suffer from relative energy deficiency and irregular or absent menstruation, with an increased risk for negative health consequences, sport’s injuries and a reduced athletic performance.
Therefore, FUEL wishes to increase the knowledge on what constitutes optimal nutrition for an endurance athlete, ensuring a foundation for optimal health and athletic performance.