Whilst the number of gym memberships has been in decline, British running is booming! Latest figures suggest that more than 2 million people actively participate in athletics (including running and jogging) - after all, you only need a pair of trainers and off you go!
Organised running events such as marathons, half-marathons and 10k runs have become increasingly popular. So has ‘destination running’ whereby participation in an overseas marathon such as New York, Paris or Berlin is combined with a well-deserved holiday. And let’s not forget that organised running events remain an important fundraising tool for charities with runners raising millions of Pound for worthy causes every year.
Running can significantly improve overall fitness and stamina levels and is furthermore well-recognised as one of the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of the heart and lungs. Many runners also claim that running helps dealing with a hectic lifestyle since it presents a welcome relief from day-to-day stress enabling them to switch off from worries.
Despite all those tremendous health benefits it’s often overlooked that runners, in particular female runners, may require a diet rich in iron or iron supplementation to offset the iron lost as a direct result of running: a combination of footstrike haemolysis1
(repeated pounding of the feet on hard surfaces which can destroy red blood cells), menstrual blood loss, natural wastage and the losses in sweat. In fact as much as one litre of water (containing up to 0.5mg of iron) can be lost during a hard workout.
Loss of iron per day in top class athletes can be up to 2mg2
. That is why female distance runners are likely to get less iron from their diets than their recommended daily amount. In fact, scientific studies suggest that more than 50% of all female runners are iron deficient3
Low iron levels result in poor endurance and performance levels since an insufficient amount of oxygen is supplied to the working muscles. Overall energy levels are also affected and motivation to exercise tends to be low as a result.
Iron from food sources is difficult to absorb for the human body with many components in iron-rich foods inhibiting the absorption of iron.
Spatone is a 100% natural iron supplement that has been scientifically shown to provide iron with a higher bio-availability than conventional iron tablets or multivitamin formulations containing iron.
Because of this unique bio-availability, Spatone has also been scientifically shown to cause fewer of the side effects that are often experienced with iron supplementation such as constipation or nausea.
Today, Spatone is recognised and used among an increasing number of professional and amateur, male and female athletes who want to go the extra mile.
Praise for Spatone
"I'm a hard-working, sports-mad veggie and I notice a big difference if I stop taking it!"
S. Roundle, Liverpool
Spatone is now also available with a delicious apple taste and added Vitamin C - all the goodness of Spatone now even more convenient!
Female endurance athletes (in particular runners!) and male and female vegetarian athletes are at a higher risk of iron depletion. A blood test undertaken by your doctor can examine the concentration of haemoglobin in your blood and the amount of stored iron in your blood stream (ferritin blood concentration) to establish if you need to actively include more iron in your diet or dietary supplementation.
1 Telford R. D. et al, Footstrike is the major course of hemolysis during running, Journal of Applied Physiology, The American Physiological Society, 2003
2 Beard J, Tobin B. Iron status and exercise. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000; 72(2): 594S-597S.
Malczewska J, Raczynski G, Stupnicki R. Iron status in female endurance athletes and in non-athletes. Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000; 10: 260-276.
3 Schena F, Pattini A, Mantovanelli S. Iron status in athletes involved in endurance and in prevalently anaerobic sports. In: Kies C, Driskell JA, eds. Sports Nutrition: Minerals and Electrolytes. Philadelphia, Penn: CRC Press; 1995: 65-69. Clarkson P, Haymes EM. Exercise and mineral status of athletes: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995; 27: 831-843