Athletes have a high risk of iron depletion for several reasons:

  1. High requirements
  2. Increased red blood cell mass means athletes have higher iron needs. Needs are particularly high during times of growth.
    • Iron is lost in the sweat. Athletes with high sweat losses have higher iron losses.
    • Iron can be lost through gastrointestinal bleeding. Gastrointestinal bleeding commonly occurs during strenuous exercise due to minor damage to the stomach and intestinal lining. Some gastrointestinal blood loss can be caused by the habitual use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • Mechanical trauma such as footstrike haemolysis (repeated pounding of the feet on hard surfaces) can destroy red blood cells during activities such as running.
  3. Increased losses
    • Iron intake is often sub-optimal in athletes with restricted food intakes:
      • Trying to survive on low kilojoule intakes (below 8 300 kj, 2000 cal) in an attempt to minimise body weight
      • Eating poorly balanced vegetarian diets
      • Avoiding meat, chicken or fish in an effort to enhance carbohydrate intake or in the mistaken belief that it is fattening
    • A high reliance on snack and convenience foods and failure to consume regular meals can reduce the athlete’s intake of iron containing foods
    • Avoiding commercially fortified foods such as breakfast cereals can lead to insufficient intake
  4. Dietary Issues

Book in for a consultation before you go ahead with any detox, as you may not be able to proceed if you are taking medication for certain conditions. Call 0401031043 to make your appointment NOW!

Good luck!