Iron Supplements for Bodybuilders

Why Is Iron Important?

As you work out hard each day, you put a certain amount of strain on your body. After all, you’re pushing your body to new limits, and that can be tiring. If you feel fatigued all the time, however, it might not be your workout schedule that’s draining your energy. Your body might be suffering from iron deficiency.

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Iron is a mineral that is vital for a healthy body. Iron is needed throughout the body, including in the hemoglobin and myoglobin, and it is an important structural component in many enzymes and proteins.

Iron is especially important to athletes because it contributes in so many ways to oxygen utilization. When an athlete is training, efficient oxygen utilization is crucial. One of the most important factors in oxygen absorption and utilization is the level of iron in the blood and muscles.

Oxygen in the blood is transported by hemoglobin, of which iron is an important part. Oxygen is stored and transported in the muscles by myoglobin, which is also dependent on iron. If the body is deprived of iron, it cannot properly utilize the oxygen it takes in, and this can seriously affect athletic performance.

How Can I Tell If I Have an Iron Deficiency?

As you can see, iron is quite important to any kind of physical activity. A lack of iron can lead to several symptoms:

– Fatigue – if you consistently feel exhausted despite sufficient rest

– Mental “cloudiness” or confusion – if you have a hard time focusing or concentrating

– Constant weakness or feeling tired – even though you maintain a good diet and exercise program

– Low immunity – if you find yourself regularly getting sick

– Constant coldness – your body has a hard time maintaining temperature even when the weather is warm

– Glossitis – an inflammation of the tongue

If you notice one or more of these ongoing symptoms, don’t ignore them. Talk to your doctor, as the sooner you remedy the problem, the better.

How Can I Combat an Iron Deficiency?

There are two main ways to remedy an iron deficiency:

1. Diet – There are many natural sources of iron, and bodybuilders should take care to include iron-rich foods in their daily diets. Red meat is one of the best sources of natural iron, as are chicken livers and clams. Smaller quantities of iron can also be found in fish, poultry and certain grains.

2. Iron supplements – At times your body simply isn’t getting the iron it needs from your diet. If you are seriously iron deficient, it may be wise to incorporate iron supplements into your daily routine. Look for a heme iron based supplement, as this form is most easily absorbed by the body.

Supplements are a great way to get your iron levels back where they should be if you have become seriously anemic. Once your iron is at a healthy level, you can adjust your diet to incorporate sufficient iron. However, if you are still unable to get enough iron from your diet, ask your doctor if he would recommend to continue taking iron supplements to ensure peak performance.

Related Resources:

Wikipedia – Iron Supplements

4 Responses to Iron Supplements for Bodybuilders

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  2. Tec on March 8, 2013 at 6:11 am

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    • Ron White on May 11, 2013 at 11:39 pm

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