Nutrition Bites - Iron

Ladies, this one is for you! Let's talk about iron. (Men, you have lower requirements and higher capacity to store iron, so it's likely you're getting what you need.)

Iron is crucial in the making of hemoglobin (which give oxygen to your muscles! It's also used in producing energy. To sum it up- you need it to live and need more to support your running. If you don't have enough in storage, your muscle function and your aerobic training will suffer.

  • Animal sources of iron include red meat, dark poultry, eggs and fish. 
  • Plant sources of iron include tofu/soy, lentils/beans, nuts/seeds and some whole grains (as well as fortified cereals).

Iron from animal sources is more easily absorbed, but you can improve absorption of plant sources by combining them with vitamin C, A, citric acid and/or fermented foods. 

This is as simple as adding an orange to your fortified cereal in the morning!

To Note: there's no medical justification to taking supplements in the absence of low stores, and can cause unwanted GI distress so talk to your doctor if you've been feeling weak, out of breath, lack of appetite or have noticed a higher heart rate.

This link has the recommended daily amounts based on age and sex, as well as lists of iron-containing foods. Check it out to find sources you enjoy.


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