Monday, August 10, 2009

Girls- Check Your Iron

Bakersfield News - August 16, 2007

The researchers gave 219 women in eight-week basic combat training (BCT) either a placebo or supplements containing 100 mg ferrous sulphate.

Those given the iron supplements recorded improved scores for two-mile running tests and cognitive performance

It's been suggested by one high school coach that all girls involved in distance running should be tested (On his girls team, Only five out of the dozens who have been tested, have been within the acceptable range for serum ferritin, and those five were either big meat eaters or had been taking supplemental iron for years. Half of the girls tested have been below 12 ng/ml. source: Track and Field News )

Since meat is a primary source of dietary iron, vegetarian athletes need to be particularly aware of this problem.


Prevention advice comes from Pete Pfitzinger

As with other running problems, such as injuries, the best strategy is to avoid low iron in the first place. Good food sources of iron include: liver, lean meat, oysters, egg yolk, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, dried fruit, and whole grain or enriched cereals and bread.

Dr. Eichner offers the following tips to prevent iron deficiency:

1. Eat 3 ounces of lean red meat or dark poultry a couple of times per week.
2. No coffee or tea with meals, because they reduce iron absorption.
3. Eat or drink vitamin C-rich foods with meals to increase iron absorption.
4. Use cast-iron cookware (particularly for acid foods like spaghetti sauce).

MY COMMENT: The symptoms of anemia would be lethargy, fatigue easily, shortness of breath upon exertion, difficulty concentrating, and a rapid heart rate. No, you're not out of shape. But don't go experimenting with high dose supplementation without a proper diagnosis and medical supervision.

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