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Athletes: Fit but Unhealthy?

Overview of attention for article published in Sports Medicine - Open, May 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#2 of 284)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 blog
309 tweeters
77 Facebook pages
2 Google+ users


4 Dimensions

Readers on

151 Mendeley
Athletes: Fit but Unhealthy?
Published in
Sports Medicine - Open, May 2016
DOI 10.1186/s40798-016-0048-x
Pubmed ID

Philip B. Maffetone, Paul B. Laursen


While the words "fit" and "healthy" are often used synonymously in everyday language, the terms have entirely separate meanings. Fitness describes the ability to perform a given exercise task, and health explains a person's state of well-being, where physiological systems work in harmony. Although we typically view athletes as fit and healthy, they often are not. The global term we place on unhealthy athletes is the overtraining syndrome. In this current opinion, we propose that two primary drivers may contribute to the development of the overtraining syndrome, namely high training intensity and the modern-day highly processed, high glycemic diet. Both factors elicit a sympathetic response through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, in turn driving systemic reactive oxygen species production, inflammation, and a metabolic substrate imbalance towards carbohydrate and away from fat oxidation, manifesting in an array of symptoms often labeled as the overtraining syndrome. Ultimately, these symptoms reveal an unhealthy athlete. We argue that practitioners, scientists, and athletes may work towards health and alleviate overtraining syndrome by lowering training intensity and removing processed and/or high glycemic foods from the diet, which together enhance fat oxidation rates. Athletes should be fit and healthy.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 309 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 151 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Portugal 1 <1%
Ireland 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Belgium 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Unknown 146 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 31 21%
Student > Bachelor 27 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 13%
Other 16 11%
Researcher 12 8%
Other 25 17%
Unknown 20 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Sports and Recreations 48 32%
Medicine and Dentistry 21 14%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 16 11%
Nursing and Health Professions 15 10%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 6 4%
Other 21 14%
Unknown 24 16%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 260. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 May 2021.
All research outputs
of 17,956,456 outputs
Outputs from Sports Medicine - Open
of 284 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 274,720 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Sports Medicine - Open
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,956,456 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 284 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.0. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 274,720 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them