Iron is an essential mineral that assists in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. We need sufficient oxygen transport to enable our muscles to execute work. Iron is especially important for athletes due to the high work demands placed on their muscles during training and competition. The body gets iron through the food we consume. An absence of iron-rich foods in the diet can lead to iron deficiency anaemia. Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include fatigue, pale skin, reduced exercise capacity and frequent illness.
Which athletes needs iron?
- Female athletes
- Athletes in their teens/adolescence; young adults
- Those competing in running, endurance and high impact sports
- Those who regularly donate blood
- Athletes who follow a vegetarian diet