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Do endurance athletes need more iron?

This question is about Nutrition, Running and Cycling
Sarah Achleithner
Yes, many endurance athletes have higher iron needs than the general population. Research indicates that 15-35% of female athletes and 3-11% of male athletes are deficient in iron [1]. Exercise increases hepcidin, an iron regulating hormone made in the liver, resulting in reduced iron availability [1]. However, other factors such as menstrual blood losses, altitude training, and inadequate intake can also contribute to low iron status in endurance athletes [1]. 
Female athletes have even higher iron needs due to menstrual blood losses and are twice as likely as sedentary women to develop iron deficiency [1,2]. Iron status of all athletes should be closely monitored, and iron supplements may be needed to restore normal levels. Iron deficiency anemia can take 3-6 months to correct, depending on baseline levels.
High iron foods including red meat, chocolate, spinach and liver
[1] Sim, M., Garvican-Lewis, L. A., Cox, G. R., Govus, A., McKay, A. K., Stellingwerff, T., & Peeling, P. (2019). Iron considerations for the athlete: a narrative review. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119(7), 1463–1478. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04157-y  
[2] Pedlar, C. R., Brugnara, C., Bruinvels, G., & Burden, R. (2018). Iron balance and iron supplementation for the female athlete: A practical approach. European journal of sport science, 18(2), 295–305. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2017.1416178