The Importance Of Iron In A Footballers Diet
Minerals make up around 4% of a person’s body mass, and play a vital role in:
- Providing the structure to form bones/ teeth
- Helping our muscles to contract
- Maintaining a normal heart rhythm
Footballers in particular should regularly check that they are maintaining the right levels of iron. Iron is poorly absorbed by the body; it is therefore recommended that your intake exceeds the recommended daily amount of 10-15mg.
So why do you need more iron?
For the simple reason that iron is lost in sweat, athletes also generally have a higher red blood cell mass than the average person, resulting in an increased demand for iron to maintain these oxygen carrying cells. A great way to increase the absorption of iron (by up to 3x), is by consuming it along with vitamin c.
What are some signs that my iron levels might be low?
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
Sources of Iron
Wherever possible we want to be getting our minerals from natural foods, rather than taking it in pill form. Below are a few options:
- Leafy veg
- Red meat
- Red meat
- Beans and pulses
Sources of Vitamin C
- Citrus fruits
- Dark leafy veg