lawrence Cross Country nutrition & Health

the importance of iron

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One of the leading causes of injury and fatigue is the one thing that most do not think to get checked: iron.

  • Did you know that iron is a key ingredient in blood that helps to carry oxygen to your muscles?

  • If you are lacking sufficient iron in your blood you will start to experience fatigue faster and more often making it nearly impossible to perform at your best.

  • If you lack enough iron, you may be what is called "iron deficient" and will require a nutritionist to help bring those levels to an optimum standard (ideally,  40µg/L).

 

read through the article (click on the image) to learn ways in which you may increase your iron naturally.

 

If you are wondering how to check for your iron levels the thing to do is request an iron-ferritin test when you get your physical. ​

While iron deficiency is more common in females (~ 35%) it is important for any runner to have it checked regardless of gender. 

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here is a great resource for more information on Anemia and ways to combat it throughout your day. (click on the image for the article)

For further study into the types of foods that can help keep your iron up, refer to this article:

 

Iron-Rich Foods

What should I eat as a runner??

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As a runner, it can be confusing how to properly fuel your body. the truth of the matter is, not a lot of high school runners know how to manage their intake of unhealthy vs healthy foods. Runners need a good mixture of:

  • fats (foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid)

  • protein (beans, eggs, fish, lean meats, whole grains)

  • carbs! (whole grain pasta, potatoes, whole grain bread)

  • calcium (eggs, leafy vegetables, beans)

  • sodium (salt) (pickles, sports drinks w/o sugar)

  • iron (refer to the above article)

Read the article for more specific ideas on how to properly fuel as a runner. It includes when you should eat certain meals as well!

is sleep something i should care about?

without a doubt, sleep is just as important as nutrition. the two go hand-in-hand in terms of what you can do during your time outside of practice to make sure you are staying healthy and injury-free. What this means for most teenagers:

  • you will have to sacrifice time with your friends during the season to make sure you can juggle homework, running, and your social life.

  • Remind yourself why you are sacrificing your time for a couple of months.

  • the realization that you are committing to something greater than yourself.

Here is a great, short article about why sleep is important for teenagers:

Lack of Sleep may trip up student-athletes

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