Performance Effects Of Iron deficiency In Female Athletes

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This journal article was published on the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association website as part of their Feature Article series.

These articles are published regularly and this one is a review of the scientific literature that describes how iron deficiency and anaemia can affect the performance of female athletes.

You can find the full article at the following link:

It is quite an in-depth review and definitely worth a read, particularly if you are a female who has suffered with iron deficiency. Some of the key points dealt with include:

– The importance of iron as a micronutrient for athletes because of its central role in multiple metabolic processes including, oxygen transport, dopamine and DNA synthesis, mitochondrial electron transport and red blood cell production.
– The body is unable to manufacture its own iron.
– The nutritional status of iron.
– Inadequate iron intake can impair aerobic metabolism, cause a decrease in the delivery of oxygen to tissues and reduce the ability of the muscles to use oxygen for production of energy, which ultimately leads to impaired exercise performance.
– The risk factors that make females more prone to this micro-nutrient disorder.
– How the disorder develops and its effects on performance.
– Dietary intake of iron and supplements.
– Recommendations for the prevention of iron deficiency in female athletes.


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