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Hormones, Health and Human Potential: A Guide to Understanding Your Hormones to Optimise Your Health and Performance

Dr Nicky Keay

“A brilliant book that will be invaluable for athletes and dancers looking to optimise their health and performance.”

Anita Bean
Registered Nutritionist. UK

“Nicky is one of those professionals that you always want to have near. She is easy to reach and so great an expertise, that can really help you to understand “the hormone world”. She has collaborated with us in a study with the Female FC Barcelona football team. Female sport and especially female football is in continuous growth, that not only is in need of great players, but of good healthcare professionals too. Understanding what takes place in the woman body, it’s physiology and the response when playing football is essential to continue developing knowledge. Nicky has been a perfect partner in this challenge, and I look forward to working together in future studies.”

Dr Eva Ferrer
Medicina de l’esport. Sports medicine doctor Departament Medic. Barça. Barcelona Football Club. Spain

“Nicky’s extensive expertise helps athletes understand that the endocrine system is critical to successful training, overall wellbeing, and the ability to participate long-term. Her work is an invaluable guide for every coach, as well as athletes of all sexes and all ages.”

Jill Colangelo
Psychology Researcher, Italy

“Hormones, Health & Human Potential is a fantastic tool for anyone wanting to understand their body better and use it to their advantage. As an athlete who has hugely benefitted from Dr Keay’s extensive research and practical expertise in order to overcome RED-S and reach the highest levels in sport, I can confidently say there is no one better to write this book. By sharing her insight with others, Dr Keay can help us all feel more educated and empowered with every chapter.”

Pippa Woolven
Former GB athlete

“As a professional cyclist, without a medical background, Nicky’s help and guidance over the years has thoroughly helped my understanding of how training load, fuelling and recovery influence my performance and my body’s wellbeing as a whole.”

Harry Tanfield
Professional World Tour Cyclist with Qhubeka-Assos team

“Hormones are such an important topic for women and men, and yet there is still a dearth of top-class, accurate information in the area. I am so grateful for the work that Dr Nicky Keay does in this area, shining a very well-informed light on the subject, and this book is extremely welcome and highly recommended. Thanks Nicky – so many people will benefit from your expertise.”

Simon Mundie
The Today Programme - BBC Radio 4, Today at Wimbledon - BBC TV sport

“Nicky has been one of the primary pioneers in advocating, researching and educating, especially to the broader community on the importance of hormones for optimal performance and health. Her knowledge and expertise in this area, especially in female athletes, is second to none. This book will be an exceptional recourse for women to improve their health and be empowered to understand their bodies better”

Dr Isobelle Smith
Medical Doctor, Australia

“Athletic peak performance requires health and a good balance between training load and recovery. Hormones are an essential part of maintaining this balance and they are part of body mass regulation, aging, and so much more. This book provides key information for these processes, so I highly recommend reading it to anyone trying to create results in recreational or top level sport.”

Dr Iva Jurov
Klinični inštitut za medicino dela, prometa in športa Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“Dr Keay’s book is an excellent resource for those hoping to enhance both their health and sporting performance. In this case, knowledge is power so understanding the role of hormones in sport and everyday life enables us to harness their potential to the fullest effect.
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) is a huge barrier to performance at both elite and recreational level. It is often under-recognised however Dr Keay’s work in this area continues to revolutionise both the understanding and management of this condition to the benefit of athletes worldwide.”

Dr Eddie Craghill
Women’s Team Support Doctor Manchester United FC

“Our hormones are tremendously powerful – and all too often they’re an overlooked piece in the puzzle of health and performance. Nicky Keay’s work has been instrumental in disseminating essential information in a way that’s easy to understand, but also easy to act upon, and expertly tailored to individual circumstances.”

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Digital Editor, Cycling Weekly, UK

“The influence hormones have on the performance of a dancer is crucial, both in regard to injury mitigation and performance optimisation. Nicky’s knowledge of Endocrinology coupled with her insight and enthusiasm for dance make her a leading voice in this field.”

Martin Lanfear
Head of Performance Medicine Scottish Ballet

“In an era bubbling with misinformation on hormones and how to “balance” them, this straight-talking, evidence-based book by Dr Nicky Keay could not have arrived at a better time.”

Dr Hazel Wallace
Doctor and Registered Associate Nutritionist, Founder of The Food Medic, UK

“This book is an absolute must read for anyone with an interest in the fascinating links between our hormones and overall health. It is grounded in easy to understand science and offers practical and empowering advice that everyone can apply. Nicky is a fountain of knowledge and I love the fact that she has poured all of that into this incredible book.”

Chrissie Wellington OBE
Four times Ironman Triathlon World Champion

“Hormones are integral to our health and performance. Nicky is one of the most authoritative voices in this specialist area of hormones and how to harness their potential. This is a must read for us all, healthcare professionals and non-professionals alike.”

Renee McGregor
Clinical Director & Sports Dietician, UK


Paperback isbn: 9781914110207
Pages: 275
Publication Date: October 28th 2022


£16.99Add to basket

Table of contents

  1. PreludeAct 1

    1. What is Health?
    2. Hormones for Health
    3. Harnessing Hormones
    4. It’s all in the Timing
    5. Of Mice and Men
    6. Of Mice and Men….and Women!
    7. Hormone Supermodels
    8. Bare Bones
    9. Mind the Gut
    10. A Balancing Act
    11. In the Red

    Act 2

    1. Infancy
    2. Childhood
    3. Teenager
    4. Young Man (and Young Woman!)
    5. Middle Age
    6. Old Age
    7. Dotage




About the book

Over 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates advocated the personalisation of “nourishment and exercise” as the “safest way to health”. He knew that our behaviours influence our health, but he did not know why. This book explains the missing link: the crucial role played by our hormones and what we can do to optimise them.

Hormones set in motion the physiological processes that keep us alive, bringing our DNA to life by directing gene expression. Hormones are the protagonists in the interaction between lifestyle and health.

We can harness our hormones positively to optimise health through our choice of behaviours. Conversely, mistiming between our actions and internal hormone biological clocks can derail the intricate interactions of hormone networks. For example, in relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S).

This book reveals the clandestine world of hormones, navigating the path to achieving full personal potential, through the different stages of life. This is relevant for both men and women, whatever your objectives, whether you are a high-level athlete; looking to improve health and fitness; seeking to understand hormone disruption; or meeting the challenges of physiological changes in hormones during life such as perimenopause and menopause. Practical tips and “hormone stories” provide actionable advice and real-life examples of how to tune in to your hormones and maintain hormone health.

As the human lifespan extends, it becomes ever more desirable to remain healthy into old age. Understanding how and why your choice of lifestyle affects your hormones empowers you to take informed decisions to improve your personal health. A life-long, healthy mix of exercise, nutrition and sleep is open to anyone, at minimal cost.

About the author

Nicky Keay is a medical doctor with expertise in the field of exercise endocrinology. Graduating from Cambridge University, she is Honorary Clinical Lecturer in the Division of Medicine, University College London. Nicky’s clinical and research endocrine work is particularly with exercisers, dancers and athletes, with a focus on relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) and with women experiencing perimenopause and menopause.

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