A Possible Solution to your Fatigue: Iron as a Natural Energy Booster
How to Make Sure that you Stop Feeling so Weak and Exhausted all the time
Do you constantly feel exhausted? Can you barely make it up a couple flights of stairs before you’re literally gasping for air, even though you’re physically fit? Your problem may be related to iron- specifically a lack of it (especially if you’re a woman).
According to the CDC, 10% of women suffer from Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). While most people tend not to think of iron as a nutrient, it is actually one of the most essential minerals.
Hemoglobin and Oxygen
"The major reason we need it is that it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body"
--Paul Thomas, EdD, RD, office of Dietary supplements at the NIH talks about the importance of iron
Oxygen is required by each and every organ system to perform routine function, it is the reason you’re able to read this article right now. Without it, there would be no energy production and you would die. Iron’s main role, in the human body, is in hemoglobin formation in red blood cells, which deliver oxygen and other nutrients to the body.
Maintaining optimal levels of iron is important for athletes and nonathletes alike because low levels directly impact the amount of oxygen the red blood cells can carry and the muscles can store. Poor oxygen delivery decreases energy levels and athletic performance.
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food and water into energy for immediate use or to be stored for later. This energy doesn’t only fuel your jog, every action you perform, such as brushing your teeth and going to work, requires energy.
6% of the iron stores in the body are used for making proteins that regulate metabolism and are essential for respiration and energy production. Therefore, if iron levels are low, energy levels and metabolic rate will be affected.
Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues. As a result, it may leave you feeling tired, weakness, shortness of breath or a poor ability to exercise.
Vitamin C and Iron Absorption
While increasing the amount of iron you intake should increase your energy levels drastically, what’s the point if most of it isn’t absorbed properly by the body? Iron absorption is the sole mechanism by which iron is stored in the body. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, significantly increases the absorption rate of iron. The catch is that it must be consumed simultaneously with the iron because when digested together, they combine to form a compound that's more easily absorbed. Studies show that adding just 63 mg of vitamin C increase iron absorption by 200%.
Therefore, a combination of iron and vitamin c supplements will undoubtedly help you stop feeling fatigued all the time. For maximum impact, take dietary supplements in addition to altering diet and exercising properly.