Running is a hobby for some people, an exercise method for others and even a passion for some. No matter which category you fall under, if you are a runner, you must know that you are putting a lot of pressure on your body every time you go for a run. If you don’t want to lose your health due to excessive running, you must know your limits and never overexert yourself. You must also make sure that you are consuming enough nutrients to keep you healthy from the inside.
One of the nutrients a runner can rarely do without is iron. Every runner should know of his or her unique iron needs and must meet them either by consuming iron-rich foods or by buying quality supplements from a website like Yes Wellness.
If you don’t keep an eye on your iron intake, you might become iron deficient and suffer from problems like fatigue, drop in performance, etc. Canadian runners, especially women, must be particularly aware of their iron levels because about 20 percent of women and 3 percent of men are iron deficient in Canada.
Should You Increase Your Iron Intake?
In case you suspect that you are or might be a victim of iron deficiency and it may prevent you from optimal running then you need to learn how to get iron heavy for optimal running. Before you think of getting iron heavy, you should learn how much iron your body needs and how much it is getting right now.
The first thing you need to know when thinking of iron levels is the presence of ferritin. Ferritin is an intracellular protein which stores iron in the body and then releases it slowly. The amount of ferritin in your body signifies the amount of iron present in your body. An average man should have anywhere between 12-300 ng/ml, and an average woman should have 12-150 ng/ml of ferritin. But athletes are different and must not be satisfied with 12 ng/ml but aim for at least 100 ng/ml. The simplest way to find the ferritin levels is to get a blood work checked during training phases.
How to Get Iron-Heavy?
The Easy Method
There are many options available to you when it comes to increasing your iron intake. The safest and simplest method is to depend on iron loaded foods like clams, spinach, red meats, oysters, etc. You can also try some iron-rich recipes at home to boost your iron intake.
This method won’t be sufficient for most dedicated runners because the levels of iron present in foods are not sufficient until you decide to live off iron-rich foods only (which is not possible in many cases). That takes us to option number two, i.e., taking help of supplements.
If you are sure that your diet is not adequate to reach the iron goals, you should take help from organic, natural and safe supplements that are available in different forms. The first option is to buy iron pills that can be consumed at any time of the day. The dosage of the pills will depend on your weight, gender and iron levels. If you don’t like the idea of swallowing pills once or twice a day, you can also opt for a liquid supplement to boost your iron intake and avoid issues like anemia. Taking liquid iron supplements is one of the fastest ways to increase the iron levels because you can see the results in just a few months. Make sure that you talk to your coach or doctor before adopting any new supplements.
In case your iron levels have dropped to dangerously low levels, and you need to attend a marathon or participate in any racing event, you should consider the option of iron infusions. This option is usually done at a clinic where you will need to show up for three days in a row, and the doctors will drip in the iron in your body to allow you to boost iron levels easily. Many people have reported that this method helped them to increase iron levels from single digits to 30s in just a few days. Remember that this method of increasing iron intake is only temporary and you might need to depend on pills or liquid supplements after three days to maintain the increased iron levels for the long term.
In essence, it can be seen that runners have bigger iron needs than a sedentary person and they should always remember that. If you are a serious runner who plans to compete and win for the next few years, your best option is to maintain enough iron levels by trying a combination of iron-rich foods and reliable supplements. Only iron-rich foods might not be adequate and totally depending on supplements is not smart. So, make sure you balance the two to optimize your running performance. Good Luck!