Among all other minerals, iron is the most crucial one for our health. It has enormous role in regulation of cell growth and differentiation and as well as in the formation of structural component of proteins and many enzymes.
In our body iron is majorly found in the haemoglobin, myoglobin and some enzyme which help in carrying out the biochemical reactions inside our body.
Hemoglobin is present in red blood cells which have a role in carrying oxygen to the tissues while myoglobin is a protein which carries that oxygen to the working muscles.
Because of the multiple functions of iron it is considered very critical mineral for our body and deficiency can lead to a number of symptoms including:
- Mental “haziness”
- Impaired immunity
- Difficulty in maintaining body temperature
- Lack of concentration
- Inflamed tongue
As a bodybuilder or fitness individual all the above symptoms becomes quiet alarming. Thus it’s very necessary to be in tune with their body. Especially in case of female bodybuilder as they loss some iron during their monthly menstrual cycle.
The most known form of iron deficiency among bodybuilders is Anaemia. Anaemia is referred to having low levels of hemoglobin. When there are low levels of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood decreases and as well the storage form of iron –Ferritin levels also decrease ultimately leading to early fatigue among bodybuilders.
Low fatigue, will lead to lower productivity, and eventually results in reduced overall endurance. Iron Deficiency. Anaemia in bodybuilders can lead to dramatic and measurable decrease in work capacity and reduced VO2max.
Hence it is very essential to pin point any symptoms if one is feeling which could correlate with iron deficiency and should consult a physician to take the right iron supplements.
Beside the supplement one can also enhance their iron stores by eating iron rich food sources like organ meats, etc. while vegetarians can eat plant-based foods like vegetables, grains, breakfast cereals etc.
One must also be careful to avoid foods which can hinder iron absorption like tannins found in tea and wine, calcium from dairy products, phytates from whole grains and legumes and soy containing foods