Understanding Iron Deficiency and How It Affects Your Athletic Performance

You exercise, eat well, get enough sleep (most of the time), but sometimes still feel sluggish, unmotivated, or weak. What could be causing it? Many athletes or health-conscious individuals think they are doing everything right for their body, but their body doesn’t always seem to agree. A simple blood test could reveal that you, along with about 30% of the world’s population, have an iron deficiency.

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Iron is a part of the protein hemoglobin that helps transport oxygen from the lungs, through your blood to other parts of the body, and produces ATP, your primary energy source. Iron also helps create red blood cells and protects your immune system. You will notice the symptoms of an iron deficiency, such as fatigue and irritability, but you might not recognize that it’s a nutrient deficiency. Anemia caused by inadequate iron levels is often mistaken for overtraining. Chronic injuries and overall loss of power, motivation, and appetite can all be caused by an iron deficiency. Only a blood test can determine if your iron levels are adequate. (more…)

Are You Sleeping Enough To Support Your Fitness Goals?

Exercise? Check. Healthy lunch? Got it. You take your supplements, read your food labels, and never miss a workout, rain or shine. Your dedication to health and fitness is admirable. But you could be missing the most important piece of the puzzle. Be honest, how much sleep do you get? sleep3 An estimated 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. In this study, 35.3% of people reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period, 48.0% reported snoring, 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day, and 4.7% reported falling asleep while driving.

Those statistics are terrible! Most people know that sleep is important, but they still push it to the bottom of their to-do list, only getting to bed when everything else is done first. Are you one of those people? The truth is, if physical fitness is your goal, sufficient sleep is non-negotiable. You are only spinning your wheels if you don’t prioritize sleep on a regular basis. (more…)