Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Matthew Vukovich


CrossFit, Female Athlete, Low Energy Availability, Recreational Athlete, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport RED-S


CrossFit is a demanding sport in which athletes perform constantly varied, functional movements at a high intensity, therefore requiring an adequate energy availability to avoid negative health and performance consequences. The purpose of this study was to assess risk of low energy availability (low EA) (phase 1) among recreational, female CrossFit athletes and measure and calculate energy availability using a 7-day dietary to measure energy intake (EI) and exercise energy expenditure (ExEE) (phase 2). In phase 1, using the LEAF-Q (Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire), 49% of survey respondents (n=149) were found to be at risk of low EA. Of the 167 participants interested in phase 2 per the survey in phase 1, 83 completed at least one day of the EI and ExEE record, and 67 completed all 7 days. The athletes in phase 2 did not meet EI recommendations set forth by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), 30% of participants were below 30 kcals.kgFFM-1.d-1, and the average energy availability among participants was 34.1 ± 12.3 kcals.kgFFM-1.d-1. EA was correlated to ExEE, EI, and carbohydrate and fat intake. Currently, CrossFit nutrition recommendations fall short when compared to those of the ISSN. CrossFit athletes and coaches should become familiar with the signs, symptoms, and implications of low EA and its resulting syndrome, RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women athletes.
CrossFit, Inc.
Energy metabolism.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright