Eimear Dolan
Energetic Trade-offs, Constraints and Compensation - Insights from Endurance Athletes

Talk Abstract

The energetic costs of endurance training and competition can be substantial, and deficits arising from costs unmet by adequate intake can lead to a state of low energy availability, whereby less energy is available than is required to optimally sustain all biological processes. Energy is a finite resource, and so low availability can result in trade-offs between competing processes, with the nature and severity of these trade-offs dependent on the extent of deficit, along with the environment within which it occurs. Within this talk, I will discuss the concept of energetic trade-offs within athletes with low energy availability, and consider how an evolutionary perspective may enhance understanding of the body's response to periods of low energy availability, along with what this may mean for athlete health and performance.