September 18, 2023

78: Helping Athletes “Nourish to Flourish” – Pippa Woolven Peters Holly Brooks of Project RED-S

In this Episode

A lot of female athletes suffer from low energy availability and RED-S which stands for Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. In fact, one study showed that 41 to 47% of female athletes have problematic low energy availability. That means almost half of us are not performing at our best because we aren’t eating enough.And, yes, eating disorders and disordered eating play into this equation, but we also understand that it’s sometimes just hard to eat enough calories to support the massive energy output with training volume and proper timing.

To bridge this awareness gap, Sara Gross welcomes Pippa Woolen Peters and Holly Brooks fromProject RED-S. Project RED-S is the digital clubhouse for RED-S awareness, prevention, and support. As it says onits website, Project RED-S is, “A place where people of all ages, genders, abilities, and activities can come together to learn how to prevent or overcome Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. A place to pursue peak performance in a healthy body and mind. Where, instead of winning at all costs, it’s about winning without compromise.”Project RED-S takes an athlete-to-athlete approach to their education and resources because both Pippa and Holly have had their own life-changing experiences with RED-S.

They discuss:

  • The implications that low energy availability has had on their personal and professional lives
  • How to recognize and address red flags of disordered eating in athletes
  • The difficulty in determining when an athlete’s dedication to their sport crosses the line into disordered behavior, such as obsessive clean eating or an excessive focus on performance
  • The pressures to conform to a certain body type in sports and the need for more diverse role models
  • Why initiatives like Project RED-S focus on “the long game” and not short-term results and gratification
  • How to determine your body’s needs and rebuild trust in yourself

From personal stories to support, science, and mentorship, Project RED-S is an all-inclusive resource for helping athletes “nourish to flourish.”

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