Exercise precautions for the female athlete: Signs of overtraining

Jacalyn J. Robert-McComb, Lauren Gates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Athletes are constantly aiming to be the best they can be by incorporating a strict nutritional and training schedule into their daily lives. When athletes push themselves further than their bodies will allow, a state of staleness will occur. Overreaching, overtraining, and the overtraining syndrome are three different levels of staleness possible if an athlete does not take the proper precautions to prevent these conditions from occurring. Within these conditions, functional, metabolic, psychological, and physiological limitations are commonplace. A full recovery can last anywhere from a few days to years in the most extreme cases. In the past, these three terms were considered one and the same; however, recent research findings have split them into three distinct conditions with defining signs and symptoms. Some of these signs and symptoms overlap with those of clinical depression, so it is imperative for an athlete to be medically evaluated in order to determine the actual cause of their symptoms. If an athlete is diagnosed with overtraining, their symptoms can be used to determine which physiological pathway is causing the condition. Research has discovered a couple of possible new mechanisms for overtraining: the negative feedback system and protein deficiency. It is important to catch overreaching and overtraining in their early stages so that athletes and their coaches can implement a plan of prevention rather than treatment. Coaches and parents need to regularly communicate with their athletes and help maintain a safe and healthy training regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Active Female
Subtitle of host publicationHealth Issues Throughout the Lifespan, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781461488842
ISBN (Print)9781461488835
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Egative feedback
  • Hyperarousal
  • Hypo-arousal
  • Overreaching
  • Overtraining
  • Overtraining syndrome
  • Protein


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