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Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) among Norwegian male athletes

Thomas Birkedal Stenqvist of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) among Norwegian male athletes. Energy availability, health, and performance among male athletes at different age and performance levels» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Monday 20 December 2021. (Photo: Private)

Altogether, this dissertation identified that signs of RED-S among male athletes are present at all ages and performance levels in Norway.
However, this dissertation also shows that signs of RED-S are apparently not as widespread as in other studies currently published.

Thomas Birkedal Stenqvist

PhD Candidate

The disputation will be held digitally. Spectators may follow the disputation digitally – link is available below.

 

Thomas Birkedal Stenqvist of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) among Norwegian male athletes. Energy availability, health, and performance among male athletes at different age and performance levels» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Monday 20 December 2021.

He has followed the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Agder.

Summary of the thesis by Thomas Birkedal Stenqvist:

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S)

The dissertation examines the prevalence of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S) among Norwegian male athletes at different ages and performance levels.

The dissertation consists of three separate studies

Study (I) examined how four weeks of high-intensity endurance training affected markers associated with RED-S, including body composition, blood markers, resting metabolic rate, and bone health.

Study (II) examined the prevalence of associated markers among Olympic-level athletes, including, blood markers, resting metabolic rate, and bone health.

Study (III) followed adolescent athletes attending elite sports high schools over a period of 3 years, and monitored markers associated with RED-S including body composition, resting metabolic rate, and bone health every six months.

Main findings

(I) During the training intervention, we found that male well-trained cyclists who completed a four-week intensified training period did increase their performance, however, negative changes in markers associated with RED-S were also observed, including changes in resting metabolism, hormones, and poor bone health.

(II) Cross-sectional data of Olympic-level athletes showed that most were apparently not at risk for RED-S. Nevertheless, it was identified that 16% of the athletes had one or more significant signs of RED-S, including lower than expected resting metabolism, hormone levels and poor bone health. Several of these athletes also had multiple symptoms present at the same time.

(III) During a three-year longitudinal study among adolescent athletes attending Norwegian elite sports high schools, we identified that all athletes increased their performance levels. However, it was identified that 38% of the adolescent athletes had poor bone health and were at risk of developing low bone mass, while only a few athletes occasionally showed other single symptoms of RED-S among this group.

All athletes had signs of RED-S

Altogether, this dissertation identified that signs of RED-S among male athletes are present at all ages and performance levels in Norway.

However, this dissertation also shows that signs of RED-S are apparently not as widespread as in other studies currently published.

Nevertheless, it is important to highlight, that knowledge about RED-S is important for sports organizations, coaches, athletes, and peers.

Despite this, the field of research on RED-S among male athletes is still in its infancy, and this dissertation highlights that significantly more research is needed to better understand the phenomena.

Disputation facts:

The trial lecture and the public defence will take placeonline - registration link below.

Dean, professor Anders Johan Wickstrøm Andersen, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Agder, will chair the disputation.

The trial lecture Monday 20 December 2021 at 10:15 hours

Public defence Monday 20 December 2021 at 12:30 hours

 

Given topic for trial lecture”Current recommendations and practices concerning protein intake in connection with strength training, with or without concurrent endurance training, with special focus on muscle mass, sex, RMR and levels of anabolic hormones”

Thesis Title«Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) among Norwegian male athletes. Energy availability, health, and performance among male athletes at different age and performance levels»

Search for the thesis in AURA - Agder University Research Archive, a digital archive of scientific papers, theses and dissertations from the academic staff and students at the University of Agder.

The thesis is available here:

https://hdl.handle.net/11250/2833240

Article 3 is excluded from the dissertation until it is published. A complete thesis can be obtained from the Faculty before the disputation. Please contact Eli Margareth Andås - contact data in the left column.

The CandidateThomas Birkedal Stenqvist (1986, Hørsholm, Denmark) Bachelors degree in "Sport and Health", University of Southern Denmark (2011), Masters degree in Sports Sciece at UiA (2016). Master thesis: “Prevalence of relative energy deficiency in sport among well-trained male Norwegian cyclists and long-distance runners”. Thomas Birkedal Stenqvist has several years of work experience from Olympiatoppen Sør (Tops Sports Southern Region of the Norwegian Olympic Commitee), and many years of educating and dissemination within Scandinavian outdoor life. Present position: Assistant Professor at the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education at UiA.

Opponents:

First opponent: Adjunct Professor Hans-Christer Holmberg, Department of Health, Education and Technology, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

Second opponent: Professor Jørn Wulff Helge, Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Associate Professor Silje Halvorsen Sveaas, Department of Nutrition and Public Health, University of Agder, is appointed as the administrator for the assessment committee.

Supervisors in the doctoral work were Professor Monica Klungland Torstveit (main supervisor) and senior lecturer Anna Melin, Department of Sport Science, Linnæus University, Sweden (co-supervisor)

What to do as an audience member:

The disputation is open to the public, but to follow the trial lecture and the public defence, which is transmitted via the Zoom conferencing app, you have to register as an audience member.

We ask audience members to join the virtual trial lecture at 10:05 at the earliest and the public defense at 12:20 at the earliest. After these times, you can leave and rejoin the meeting at any time. Further, we ask audience members to turn off their microphone and camera and keep them turned off throughout the event. You do this at the bottom left of the image when in Zoom. We recommend you use ‘Speaker view’. You select that at the top right corner of the video window when in Zoom.

Opponent ex auditorio:

The chair invites members of the public to pose questions ex auditorio in the introduction to the public defense, with deadlines. It is a prerequisite that the opponent has read the thesis. Questions can be submitted to the chair Anders Johan Wickstrøm Andersen on e-mail anders.j.w.andersen@uia.no