If you are an athlete, you should know that your body needs vitamins and minerals to have optimal performance and performance; and one of the essential minerals in the body is iron.
Iron is a mineral necessary to maintain adequate levels of red blood cells. This will make our blood contain more oxygen and, therefore, we can better cover the body’s requirements to burn that oxygen and turn it into energy.
Unfortunately, one of the ways to know and appreciate the importance of iron in the body is through its lack, due to the appearance of a series of disorders. Hence the importance of taking into account the signs that you have iron deficiency and know how to remedy it.
Causes of iron deficiency
The decrease in iron concentration in the organism can be caused, among others, by the following reasons:
- Maintain an inadequate diet: follow a very strict vegetarian diet, do not consume red meat, and drink a lot of tea or a lot of fiber.
- Loss of blood derived from certain gastrointestinal diseases or, in the case of women, from heavy menses.
- I ngesta of medicines that prevent their absorption.
- Sports overexertion
How to know if you have iron deficiency?
Iron is necessary for the formation of myoglobin , a protein found in muscle cells that is also essential for certain enzymes that drive the chemical reactions of the body. In the bone marrow, it is used to produce hemoglobin, the chemical that carries oxygen within red blood cells.
At first, the iron deficiency in the body can be so slight that it may go unnoticed. However, as the body has a greater iron deficiency, the signs and symptoms intensify.
We present 3 signs to which you should pay attention that could indicate an iron deficiency in your body:
1.Skin is paler than normal
A sign of iron deficiency in the body is that your skin is paler than normal; which also applies to gums and nails.
When there is less iron than is required for normal functioning of the body, red blood cells decrease in size and contain less hemoglobin. By decreasing the concentration of hemoglobin (which is what gives the blood red), the skin looks paler.
If you consider that you are getting enough sleep, then that excessive fatigue can be caused by a decrease in iron in the body. You may also notice that your strength has decreased significantly in a short time.
When the musculature does not receive oxygen, which uses it to generate energy, you notice it in the form of fatigue. This is due to the fact that iron deficiency makes it difficult for hemoglobin to correctly fulfill its function of supplying oxygen to all cells; consequently, there is a greater slowness in the expulsion of carbon dioxide from the body, which causes fatigue.
In short, iron deficiency can increase muscle fatigue and affect your endurance and aerobic capacity.
3.Always have cold extremities
If you have iron deficiency in the body, you experience a reduction in the oxygenation of the blood. As a result, the body extracts blood from the extremities to send it to more essential organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs.
That is why a lower blood flow to the extremities – hands and feet – results in that they will feel colder.
How to remedy iron deficiency
Iron is essential for health, so if you suspect that you have iron deficiency in your body, what you should first do is go to a doctor.
On the other hand, since iron is naturally found in small quantities in our body, it is necessary to obtain it through food, through a balanced and varied diet that includes frequent consumption of liver, blood sausage, red meat, clams, fish, oysters, eggs, salmon, tofu, raisins and spinach, among other foods.
How much iron do we need to take?
The average person needs 8 mg of iron per day, but women of childbearing age require 18 mg of iron, to compensate for the loss of blood by menstruation. In addition, it is necessary to take into account that iron can be difficult to absorb, and also its absorption can be inhibited by the consumption of rice, legumes and grains.
A trick to improve the body’s ability to absorb iron is to combine any iron-rich food with the consumption of vitamin C, B6, B12, folic acid, copper, phosphorus and calcium, as well as decrease with the intake of coffee and wine.
Iron supplements, taken as prescribed by the doctor, can also help if you cannot get enough iron from the diet.