Thursday, August 22, 2013

Runners: Eat More Iron

Two runners I work with (coach) have gotten anemic or had low iron levels this year. Human runners lose iron a variety of ways.
1. Blood loss (for women menstration)
2. Sweat
3. Foot strike, although this is not well understood. 
My Iron Supplement
The recommended daily intake of iron varies from about 5-18 mg depending on the source, age and sex. That is a small amount but large enough that it is not insignificant. Also, B12 and the thyroid are both related to anemia as well although again these interactions are not well understood. The concern most people have with iron supplements is overdosing. It takes about 10+ mg of iron per kilogram of body weight daily to overdose. I weigh about 55kg to overdose would require about 550 mg of iron per day!

The point is, there are few legal performance enhancing drugs in the world, but iron is one that if it is low will certainly be a set back. Plus, it is somewhat hard to overdose on it for a person running and sweating two hours per day. 

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