Measures against anemia which hinders running performance
Do you somehow feel strange and dizzy even though you’re running your regular course at the right pace? If so, you may be suffering from sports anemia. Female runners need to be more aware of it as women are more likely to suffer anemia than men.
Here is a feature on sports anemia, which has a significant impact on running performance, and an introduction to its causes and preventive measures.
What is sports anemia?
Sports anemia often occurs among athletes playing hard sports as they undergo a significant amount of physical activity. The main cause of sports anemia is iron deficiency, a shortage of hemoglobin. Iron can be lost through sweating and because erythrocytes containing hemoglobin are broken due to the landing impact of running. We can end up with sports anemia, for instance, when we sweat a lot while running a long-distance of 10,000 steps or more.
Symptoms of sports anemia
・Loss of appetite
・Pale color inside the lower eyelids
If the above symptoms persist, you may have sports anemia. If symptoms never disappear, you’d better consult your doctor instead of making your own judgement.
Lack of hemoglobin is a key cause of sports anemia. Hemoglobin is a type of protein contained in red blood cells and works to carry oxygen, etc. If the amount of our red blood cells and hemoglobin is low, we cannot efficiently use the oxygen taken in by breathing, which in turn results in hypoxia.
Trying to break out of hypoxia, the body tries to increase heart rate and blood flow to carry more oxygen. Under such circumstances, even light exercise will cause palpitations and shortness of breath, resulting in a decrease in endurance, and you will feel fatigue even when you are running a short distance.
In addition, chronic fatigue leads to a decrease of concentration and motivation. The longer this symptom lasts, the poorer your performance will be.
Nutrients that work for anemia and you need to take actively
As a measure against sports anemia, it’s important to replenish the iron lost during a workout. Heme iron, which is often contained in animal foods, is recommended because of its high absorption rate. Non-heme iron, which is abundant in vegetable foods, has a low absorption rate, but when taken together with vitamin C, the absorption rate increases. Plus, try to eat foods that are rich in protein, the source of hemoglobin, on a daily basis. In particular, women who are prone to anemia should always take in iron-rich foods on a regular basis.
●Animal foods (heme iron)：Pork liver, chicken liver, beef liver, beef thigh, bonito, sardines, tuna, clams, etc.
●Vegetable foods (non-heme iron)： Vegetable foods (non-heme iron): Komatsuna, spinach, hijiki seaweed (dried), dried daikon radish, natto, tofu, soy beans, frozen tofu, roasted soybean flour, etc.