Who isn’t looking for a way to improve fitness performance and results? While a healthy diet and consistent exercise is still the foundation of any fitness success, dietary supplements may also play an important role in helping you. The problem is that there are literally thousands of supplements to choose and each one claims to be able to help you achieve your goals. If you’re like most, you’ve tried several supplements, which certainly cost quite a bit. One of the most helpful supplements that you can take may also be the simplest.
Iron is a critical nutrient in the body and many people don’t realize the helpful effect it can have on your fitness goals. Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons to take iron supplements to achieve fitness success.
Although iron has a variety of responsibilities in the body, the one it is most known for is ensuring that oxygen saturated blood is able to efficiently reach the areas that need it, which we’ll talk more about in our next point.
For right now though, it’s important to point out that iron also plays an important role in helping the body with breaking down carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide glucose, which our muscles utilize during exercise. If your body is running low on iron, then you may not be able to capitalize on that glucose as quickly as your muscles demand. Supplementing with iron may help with workout fatigue, allowing you to keep going for a longer period of time.
As mentioned above, iron assists with getting oxygen-rich blood to areas that need it. While you are exercising, your muscles are going to demand a large amount of that blood. If you lose too much iron through sweat, you may see a drop in your performance. The best way to prevent a drop in iron as a very active person AND to boost your workout performance is to supplement with a high quality iron supplement. Oxygen rich blood will be able to saturate working muscles and, as discussed in our first point, your body will be getting the energy-providing glucose that it needs.
Recovering after a workout is crucial. Proper recovery ensures that you don’t fall victim to over training. What’s more, you’ll want your muscles to be prepared for the next workout you have. A great and simple way to boost your recovery is to supplement with iron.
Iron’s role in ensuring oxygen-rich blood is delivered to working muscles is going to come into play here. Once the blood is also loaded with muscle repairing nutrients such as amino acids, iron will help to get those nutrients to the muscles that need it most.
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Woods A, Garvican-Lewis LA, Saunders PU, Lovell G, Hughes D, Fazakerley R, Anderson B, Gore CJ, Thompson KG. Four weeks of IV iron supplementation reduces perceived fatigue and mood disturbance in distance runners. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 23;9(9):e108042. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108042. eCollection 2014.
Pasricha SR, Low M, Thompson J, Farrell A, De-Regil LM. Iron supplementation benefits physical performance in women of reproductive age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144(6):906-14. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.189589. Epub 2014 Apr 9.