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Iron is MASSIVELY essential in transferring oxygen to your muscles in exercise. But you already knew that.
The doctor said it was a bit low for an athlete although ‘acceptable’ (ie non anemic).
He recommended iron supplements.
Then I did a bit of research and, maybe like you reading this now, could not find out exactly what to take and, more importantly, what iron ‘target’ to aim for. I’ll tell you the answer in a minute!
There are various iron tests and you don’t really need to know what they all are (unless they diagnose a problem in you!). The basic key one for an athlete is the FERRITIN test. Above 30 is medically OK (you are probably not anaemic). But it should be above 60. I think it can be 200+ but you don’t have to worry about that. Just get it above 60. If it gets TOO high you will get other problems.
<30 ng/mL You may well be anemic and need to get this sorted out.
30-35 ng/mL then Iron Deficiency treatment needs to be discussed take iron sulphate tablets (non-organic) or amino acid chelate (organic) or citrate (organic). Some sort of supplement like FLORIDAX is good but not cheap.
35-60 ng/mL increasing iron in your diet is a prudent step tablets won’t hurt
>60 no problemo!
So look guys. Taking iron tablets will NOT MAKE US ALL FASTER. It will only make those of us with low ferritin faster.
(20-400 is the normal range in USA and 30-330 in the UK – but this is not the range for athletes just normal people)
If you don’t like tablets then cut out alcohol, coffee, tea. When you eat iron rich foods take vit c as well. You can get iron from veg and meat …. just a bit harder to get the same amount from veg.
- Ferritin Deficiency (mscaregiverdonna.wordpress.com)
- What is a normal iron count? (zocdoc.com)
- Can low ferritin cause breathing problems? (zocdoc.com)
- The Future Of Duathlon 2012 (the5krunner.com)
- Treating Iron-Deficiency Anemia (everydayhealth.com)
- Duathlon -Triathlon: Do ITU Results Show World Duathlon Is a higher standard than World Triathlon? (the5krunner.com)
- Can borderline iron deficiency still cause symptoms? (ask.metafilter.com)
- 2012 – Duathlon Key National & International Events Programme (the5krunner.com)
- Can you wear running shoes to bike the duathlon or triathalon? (the5krunner.com)
- Iron supplements ‘could help stave off DVT and other life-threatening blood clots’ (dailymail.co.uk)
- Iron supplements could prevent life-threatening blood clots (news.bioscholar.com)