Elite athletes routinely undergo demanding training regimens of increasing intensity in a bid to enhance performance. When counterbalanced by adequate periods and types of rest and recovery, such training regimens can result in marked improvements in athletic performance. However, a disruption in this balance can lead to excessive training at the expense of recovery. The body may initially be able to adapt to this increased demand, but this resistance is quickly exhausted. With continued training in the absence of adequate recovery, a constellation of symptoms—including both general medical and mental health manifestations—emerges that is now recognized as overtraining syndrome (OTS). An athlete affected by OTS will often initially present with unexplained underperformance, necessitating a thorough general medical and psychological workup. The stages of overtraining that precede OTS are reversible with adequate periods of recovery, emphasizing the importance of recognizing, managing, and preventing overtraining in athletes in order to prevent long-term negative outcomes.
- Overtraining syndrome
- Disordered eating
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Haghighat, N., Stull, T. (2022). Overtraining Syndrome. In: Reardon, C.L. (eds) Mental Health Care for Elite Athletes. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-08364-8_18
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