WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LINK BETWEEN IRON AND SPORT?
Iron is a vital trace element for human survival. Supplements like Lactoferrin help bind iron. Iron comes in two forms: heme iron of animal origin and non-heme iron of plant origin. In athletes, the need for iron is more demanding. This is a phenomenon called “dilution anemia” or “sport anemia” in English. To learn more about the relationship between iron and exercise, read this article.
The importance of iron for athletes
Athletes provide permanent physical exercise. With each sporting effort exerted, the muscles of the body require a greater volume of oxygen in order to perform. Iron is the trace element that helps the blood to facilitate the flow of oxygen. If it runs out, the muscles will not be well oxygenated and will eventually become exhausted from looking for another source of energy.
Iron deficiency and its consequences on the athlete
First of all, it should be remembered that iron deficiency is a physiological response to exercise. Iron losses in a non-athlete are normal. They are usually made through digestive secretions, through urine or the fall of the superficial part of the epidermis in the form of horny lamellae or rags. The athlete is exposed to the risk of higher iron deficiency.
This deficit is caused by the destruction of red blood cells. Indeed, the vessels can receive shocks during the intense effort provided in a sports discipline and this shock affects the red blood cells. In addition to the destruction of red blood cells (which can also be caused by the shock wave caused by running, for example), digestive microhaemorrhages also represent causes of iron deficiency in athletes.
When an athlete is iron deficient, they may be less motivated to exercise due to constant shortness of breath and fatigue. We also notice in the latter a certain irritability and pallor of the skin. The proper functioning of muscles is impaired because they lack oxygen.
Foods rich in iron
To correct an iron deficiency, one can take a dietary supplement based on tablets, adopting a diet rich in iron or modifying sports training.
Here is a list of some foods rich in iron, you must know absolutely :
• Calf’s liver;
• Red meats;
• White beans;
• Molds ;
• Sunflower seeds;
• Nuts and almonds;
• Dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder;
Vitamin C and iron absorption
It is one thing to prioritize the consumption of iron-rich foods in your diet, but another is to make sure that the ingested iron is properly absorbed by the body. The solution that ideally addresses this concern is vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a potent facilitator of the absorption of non-heme iron. This is because vitamin C contains a component called ascorbic acid. It is this element that promotes the absorption of iron by the body. To be effective, vitamin C must be taken at the same time as iron. Combine foods rich in iron with foods rich in vitamin C (fruits) to create the perfect synergy that will give good iron absorption.
Also watch out for foods that can slow down the absorption of iron such as green tea etc.
If you want to know more about the benefits of Lactoferrin I invite you to look at the following link :
Here in this article all the explanations of iron deficiency.