How important is iron & how much do you need?
The primary role of iron is to increase our blood’s oxygen carrying capacity, which is integral is ensuring that the muscle & other tissues in our body receive enough oxygen to function properly – especially when training. Intensive workout programs can result in individuals developing iron-deficiency anemia in which there is less oxygen circulating to muscle resulting in:
- Decreased aerobic capacity
- Reduced athletic performance
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that athletes meet their iron requirements.
So, how much iron is required?
- Athlete iron requirements are 1.3-1.7 time higher than non-athletes
- Vegetarian athletes is another 1.8 times higher
- Recommended Dietary Allowance
- Men over 18 years old – 8 mg/day
- Women 19 to 50 years old – 18 mg/day
- Women over 51 years old – 8 mg/day
Where can I get my iron requirements from?
- Beef, pork, oatmeal, lentils, dark green leafy veggies
Make sure you’re getting you optimal intake of iron in order to get the most out of your training!
- NSCA, CSCS Study Guide