Although there is no true one-size-fits-all supplement plan, there are a number of essential vitamins and nutrients that all active women need. Whether you’re a CrossFitter, a yogi or a marathoner, these five supplements should be part of your daily regimen.
Iron is a necessary component of hemoglobin, the compound in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to your working muscles. For athletes, iron deficiency means impaired aerobic metabolism, fatigue, shortness of breath and a reduced capacity to utilize oxygen to produce energy. Athletes have more red blood cells than non-athletes, and as a result need more iron. Female athletes are at greater risk for deficiency because they lose iron not only through perspiration but also during menstruation. And if you’re an endurance athlete your risk ratchets up another notch because of foot-strike hemolysis, in which red blood cells are destroyed when feet repeatedly pound a hard surface.
Daily dose: 15 to 20 milligrams
Eat: Oatmeal, lentils, leafy greens, fish, dried fruit, red meat, poultry.