Physical activity

Physical activity

Physical activity and iron: tips for those who practice sport

Practising sport contributes to the well-being and health of our entire body. However, excessive sweating and intensive training can cause a loss of mineral salts as well as valuable energy. In cases of iron deficiency related to specific physiological conditions (menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breastfeeding) or pathological conditions (iron malabsorption), the feeling of general physical exhaustion following physical activity may be more intense or prolonged. It has been shown that iron deficiency can easily occur in endurance sports, mainly due to micro-bleeding, or in professional athletes who are required to perform intensively and frequently, resulting in an increased consumption of this important element. Greater depletion of reserves can frequently be observed in women of childbearing age and in young people, in which greater iron consumption is also accompanied by a greater need for this nutrient.

SPORTS: HOW TO MANAGE IRON DEFICIENCY

Iron is a very important element for the transport of oxygen in the blood. Contributing to the normal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells, an adequate iron intake is essential for those who practice physical activity on both amateur and competitive level.

A varied and balanced diet, which guarantees the supply of all the macro- and micronutrients necessary for the body, is an excellent starting point, also for athletes. Beef, liver, spleen, egg yolk, in particular, can be an excellent food source of iron with good bioavailability. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and oat flakes, on the other hand, are some examples of iron-rich plant-based foods that should always be part of the diet of athletes.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN CASE OF IRON DEFICIENCY?

Under normal health conditions, a healthy and balanced diet is sufficient to provide the right amount of iron daily. In some cases, however, there might be a deficiency or increased bodily need for iron.  The use of a dietary supplement, always in combination with a balanced diet, may be useful for supporting the request for iron in cases of need. The SiderAL® range of dietary supplements is designed to supplement iron in case of deficiency or increased needs for this nutrient.

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