Cycling’s hidden under-fuelling epidemic: here’s how to spot the signs of RED-S and make sure you’re meeting your energy demands

The prevalence of under-fuelling in both professional and amateur cycling is shockingly widespread - many may not be aware of the damage they’re causing their bodies

Female cyclist eating a meal outside
(Image credit: Future)

Kristen Faulkner's disqualification from the Strade Bianche Donne podium this year for wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) during the race, along with statements from both Faulkner and Supersapiens post-race, has reignited the topic of under-fuelling in performance sports.

We’ll take you through everything you need to know about energy deficiency in sport, its prevalence across both amateur and professional athletes (which is shockingly high, especially when you consider the likely extent of underreporting) and how to spot the signs in yourself - as well as ensuring you’re getting the right balance of energy for the intensity of your training.

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Nicole Oh is a physiotherapist and bike fitter, with training in biomechanical assessments, sports injury rehabilitation, acupuncture and clinical pilates.

A competitive cyclist with a background in triathlon, Nicole raced at National level in the UK, also managing and co-founding the Les Filles Racing Team. Having moved to Sydney, she works as a physiotherapist at The Body Mechanic and continues to race competitively.