In episode 198 of The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer shares a conversation with Dr Nicky Keay: ‘RED-S, Hormones health & performance’ in this expert edition.
As a research fellow at St. Thomas’s Hospital, Dr Nicky Keay was part of the International Medical Team that developed the test for growth hormone in the doping of athletes. It was during this time, the penny really dropped for Dr Keay when she recognised the importance of hormones in dictating athletic performance. With sports medicine grants, Dr Keay went on to research the training effects on the endocrine system resulting in publications in sports and dance and Endocrinology. Dr Keay’s recent work has looked at Endocrinology in competitive male cyclist. Dr Keay has published the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine’s educational website health and performance in order to raise the awareness of relative energy deficiency in sports. Dr Keay is also involved in the #trainbrave campaign and currently works in the first NHS RED-S dedicated clinic in London, the EN:SPIRE clinic.
During this episode, Dr Nicky Keay shares why hormones matter for athletes, the role that hormones play in mediating training adaptations, why energy availability is so paramount for athletes and performers, the consequences of low energy availability or relative energy deficiency in sports.
Fascinating findings from Dr Nicky Keay’s research in elite cyclist looking at their energy availability status and the surprise findings of their mineral bone density tests. The role of training loads, nutrition and recovery on hormone health and performance. How and why energy deficiency can be both intentional and unintentional, why athletes need to fuel for the work required, why lighter is definitely not better when it comes to sporting performance and how to move towards reversing relative energy deficiency in sports and the associated health consequences.
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“Be true to yourself, listen to yourself.” – Best Advice
“Try to do different forms of exercise.” – Physical Challenge
“Sleep and exercise are the 2 great stimuli for growth hormone release.”
“There are adaptations that occur during training and recovery.”
“Training and recovery will have to go hand in hand.”
Three Behavioural Key Things to make your hormones work for you
Website: Nicky Keay Fitness
Website: Health for Performance
The EN:SPIRE Clinic
Article: Returning To Sport After Energy Deficiency
1:51 Introduction to Dr Nicky Keay
6:00 How Dr Nicky Keay's career and interest started
8:19 When her research interest started
11:45 Why hormones are important in training
15:05 How hormones work during adaptation and recovery
18:07 Factors that affect hormone health
20:10 How to determine when an athlete is potentially sleep deprived
23:53 How to utilise energy availability for athletes
29:26 Effects of unintentional actions for energy availability
32:39 Athletes with enough energy state and their performance
37:38 Differences of hormones in athletes, dancers and others
46:28 Concept of RED-S for males and females
55:40 How to diagnose RED-S
59:00 Bone density results with Cyclist in Dr Keay's research
1:02:12 Severity of fractures with cyclist
1:09:40 Risk of bone stress injuries in athletes
1:12:25 Physical Challenge for the Week
James Morton - Nutritionist, Team Sky’s Head of Nutrition
Assoc Prof Dr Shona Halson - Athlete performance & recovery Episode 190 of The physical Performance Show
Ryan Hall – Dual Olympian, U.S Record Holder Half Marathon (59:43), 2:04:58 Marathon PR Episode 160 of The physical Performance Show
Barbara Drinkwater – Runner
Send to the show host @Brad_Beer (Twitter) or @brad_beer (Instagram)