Question about iron levels

Just wondering if anyone has heard whether your iron levels need to be a bit higher for running? I did read somewhere that there is a theory that ideally your ferritin should be 60 or higher ideally, mine is 25 and although classed as in the normal range I do get very fatigued and occasionally get palpitations during or after running. I think I'm going to take an iron supplement anyway but just wondered if anyone had heard any theories about this?

10 Replies

  • My personal experience is my running is easier if my ferritin levels are over 70. If they go under then I start to feel breathless and tired about 10 min into a run. I used to have issues until my ferritin levels went up over 70 and then I felt fine but I think everyone has there own levels of what can be acceptable. I was on prescribed iron as my doctor understood my need and want to keep running so she helped me get my iron levels stable.

  • Thanks for that, I do get out of breath quickly and very tired so will be worth a chat with the GP. I have pernicious anaemia (B12 deficiency) for which I have injections every two months so maybe that doesn't help either.

  • Oh ... I have those little red devils every 3 months too so no wonder you're feeling the effects of running. Really important to monitor your levels to ensure that you're correctly topped up for your exercise needs. Your practice nurse or GP should be able to help with that if you explain your goals and overall its going to benefit your long term health so they should be on board with you. My B12 is because of a neurological crisis I suffered in 2009 which gave me all the symptoms of MS over the course of about 4 years of declining health - nobody thought to check my B12 levels but it turned out to be neurological damage caused by its deficiency so they've kept me on the jabs for life incase it ever happens again. Good luck and let us know how you get on :-)

  • Yes! I just found out my ferritin levels are 21 which I'm sure explains why I've been struggling with fatigue during/after running. The "normal" range is way too wide.

  • Hi Lisarose

    I was interested to read about iron level issues I've been trying to improve my diet and I know this impacts hugely on my energy levels, and subsequent runs. I wondered do you just take a good over the counter iron supplement or does your GP prescribe something?

  • I got a supplement from a health shop which are supposed to be kind to the stomach. The ones the doc gives you can be quite harsh!

  • How do you find out? I am on SW so it is possible that my iron levels are low as I can get quite lazy and eat the same thing over and over again.

  • You will need a blood test to find out. I went to GP as I felt excessively tired after running but officially my ferritin is normal, but I would think you need more iron for running. The lower limit of normal seems quite low to me.

  • wonder what mine are..... I'm always tired....... but then again I don't sleep too well, thought the running would help but nope

    you'll have to have a steak, with some spinach - preceeded with a glass of orange juice (vit c will help your body absorb the iron) and washed down with a guiness :) !! Oh and a handful of sunflower seeds too - that should up the iron count

    Seriously tho - if you're getting palpitations I think you should have a check up with your doc

  • I have had numerous heart investigations in the past but have been told I have benign arrhythmias, nothing to worry about apparently 😀

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