Women who take iron supplements get a marked improvement in their exercise performance, a new study by the University of Melbourne study has found.
Women who were given iron were able to perform a given exercise using a lower heart rate and at a higher efficiency.
Dr Sant-Rayn Pasricha from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, said the boost was mainly seen in women who had been iron deficient or anaemic at the beginning of the trial and in women who were specifically training, including in
This is the first time researchers have been able to confirm that iron supplementation has beneficial effects on exercise performance.
“It may be worthwhile screening women, including women training as elite athletes, for iron deficiency, and ensuring they receive appropriate prevention and treatment strategies,” Dr Pasricha says.
“Athletes, especially females, are at increased risk of iron deficiency potentially, due to their diets and inflammation caused by excessive exercise.”
Other studies have shown that women given iron experience improved work productivity.
The new study is published in the Journal of Nutrition.
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