Performance Medicine is a branch of medicine that is focussed on the optimisation of emotional, mental, and emotional performance of (but not limited to) athletes.
The basis of Performance Medicine lies in the assumption that the functions of the immune system, nervous system, hormonal system, and digestive system govern adaptation to training. All environmental stimuli (including training and nutrition) are processed by these systems, which will then respond with adaptation. It is therefore the functions of these systems, which determine the result of all training stimuli.
Performance Medicine is to be clearly distinguished from sports science and sports coaching, which is mostly concerned with the optimal composition of training stimuli. In Performance Medicine the main concern is the functional status of the athlete’s adaptive systems.
Performance Medicine evolved from integrative medicine, sports medicine, and functional medicine as the challenge emerged how adaptation in elite athletes can be optimised. Sports Science, Sports Coaching and Nutritional Sciences have reached a point of diminished returns. That is why the focus has shifted from the training and nutritional inputs, to the individuals response to these stimuli. A specialty branch, which focusses on the optimisation of RESPONSE to training was necessary. Classical branches of medicine are not fit for that task, because of the limited involvement in elite training environments. Optimisation of adaptation involves clinical diagnoses of functional interactions of organ systems, and therefore sports scientists, and coaches need the aid of a Performance Medicine Specialist to assist in managing the training process.
Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.