Hatty Bates |

Essential minerals: iron

Including enough iron in your diet is vital for good health and performance. Hatty Bates, Performance Nutritionist for British Rowing, shares advice

Iron is an essential mineral which is needed for several physiological processes. Evidence suggests that low levels of iron can negatively affect our ability to train and perform, particularly during aerobic activity. We’ll discuss the importance of iron for rowers as well as provide examples of iron-rich food and simple ways to increase the iron content of your diet.

Why is iron important?

Iron plays an important role in making haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body. Therefore, insufficient iron levels may result in reduced oxygen transportation to the working muscles making it harder to train at a high intensity for the duration of a training session. The brain also relies on oxygen delivery to be able to concentrate. In addition, iron is also needed to support a healthy immune system and to avoid frequent bouts of colds and infections.

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