Among all of the physical risks that athletes take on in their climb to the mountain top iron deficiency in their diet can swiftly bring them down as fast as a torn ligament.
“Iron is important for an athlete because this is what transports oxygen to the muscles,” says Allyson Camp, dietetic intern for Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.
“If oxygen is not transported effectively through the body then the athlete loses aerobic capacity.”
Inhibiting the ability to breathe notwithstanding, incorporating iron into your daily diet can alleviate manageable problems before they occur.
Excellent sources of iron are lean red meat, dark green, leafy vegetable such as spinach, dried fruits, nuts, and iron-fortified cereals.
Other than a lack of iron in your diet athletes are also at risk for iron deficiency due to their training habits.
“Athletes can experience blood loss through training,” says Camp.
“This can be from several reasons. Through training regimens athletes can experience micro-ruptures in their muscles from prolonged intense exercise. Endurance athletes can experience these same micro-ruptures in their stomach or gastrointestinal tract.”
To manage consumption of iron the recommended daily dosage for male athletes is 8mg and 18mg for females due to menstrual cycles.
For more information on Sport Nutrition and Diets contact Brett Singer MS, RD, CSCS, LD of the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute of Houston.
To register for a free evaluation visit our website at athletetrainingandhealth.local or call (713) 909-0085 (South Houston) or (832) 698-9821 (North Houston) or (817) 522-1876 (Arlington)
To listen to the full podcast of Allyson Camp on Iron Deficiency in Athletes click the play button below.