So you’re training for a 5k (or 10k or marathon or whatever) and you have a training plan. You know your heart rate, your training zones, and your mile pace. But none of it will do you any good if you are low in iron.
Say what? Being low in iron can negate all the hard training you do? That’s right, it can. In fact, the iron content in your body’s tissues is one of the main factors that determines your aerobic capacity, which of course, greatly affects athletic performance.
The body uses iron to produce oxygen transporters – such as hemoglobin and myoglobin – and to produce energy by serving as a cofactor to many energy-using enzymes. Strenuous training increases the physiological demand for oxygen which then increases the demand on the transport systems as well. Hemoglobin then carries oxygen from the lungs to all bodily tissues and myoglobin in the muscle stores oxygen for use during exercise.