HIGH INTENSITY ATHLETES MAY BE PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO IRON DEPLETIONATHLETES HAVE MUCH DIFFERENT NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS THAN LESS-ACTIVE PEOPLE, AND IRON MAY BE ANOTHER CASE IN POINT.
A recent review published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
reports that as many as 13% of women and 1% of men in the general population suffer from iron deficiency. However, among all types of athletes, iron depletion occurs in approximately 20% to 50% of females and approximately 4% to 50% males--- with the worst cases being in athletes who train under high intensity, for prolonged periods, or during weight-bearing exercise. To put this in perspective, if you run, cycle, CrossFit, or weight train in any combination, then you may be at risk for iron deficiency. If you are dieting and limit your red meat consumption, then the problem may be exacerbated.
If you suspect you have an iron deficiency, you should see your doctor to have your blood tested. The easiest way to ensure your iron is topped up is to take a multivitamin (with iron) or an iron supplement as directed.
Scientific Reference: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2014, 39(9): 1012-1018.