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The adolescent athlete & bone health

Good energy availability (EA) is having sufficient energy to meet the demands of training and incidental activity whilst also having enough remaining for normal bodily functions (BMR).

EA = Energy intake – (exercise energy expenditure ( – BMR during exercise)/Fat-Free Mass (FFM )

• Relative energy deficiency in sport (REDS) in adolescence can negatively impact bone turn‐over and development

• Athletes may experience delayed maturation and/or not reach full height Potential if energy needs not met

Whilst adolescent athletes are developing at different rates there is no one magic number or guide for exactly how much ”growth and development” adds to their energy requirements however we do know they are increased.

Protein requirements are increased

Carbohydrate needs likely similar to adults but spread around training important

Increased micronutrient needs to support the maturation

• Iron

• Vitamin D & Calcium

• Zinc

adolescent athletes are less energy-efficient than adults If we are not meeting energy requirements.

Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED‐S) can lead to:

• Delayed or disturbed menarche in females

• Hormonal disturbances in males

• Bone maturation disturbance and risk of stress fractures

• Increased risk of illness and injury

• Impaired performance💪

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