Iron: An Essential Nutrient in Athletes

Having an iron deficiency, or in severe cases, anemia, can be detrimental to athletic performance and overall health. It limits the body’s capacity to carry and deliver oxygen, thus stunting potential maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) or work capacity. Poor iron status is also associated with higher blood lactate concentrations during exercise.

Iron is a trace mineral that is also highly significant to endurance athletes. Iron is critical to optimal athletic performance because of its role in energy metabolism, oxygen transport, and acid-base balance.

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