14 October 2015 ~ Comments Off on Constantly Getting Dropped? Maybe you just need more of this vitamin supplement.

Constantly Getting Dropped? Maybe you just need more of this vitamin supplement.

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Since 2007, when I started cycling, I have been training pretty diligently—but frequently when riding with others my same age (or older than I), I get dropped. Earlier this summer, while getting some blood tests for a bladder infection/prostate problem, it showed my iron (Ferritin) was way low. It was at 32, whereas normal is 22-275. For about eight weeks, I was taking one tablet a day (Nature Made 65 mg), along with 500 mg of vitamin C at night, before going to bed. That was ineffective. So I starting take 20 mg, three times daily, liquid Floradix (designed in Germany). After eight weeks of that, it brought my levels up to 103. One medical professional suggested that for males, it should ideally be even higher, at 130.

Consequently, my average speeds on the bike have also increased slightly. Also, I don’t feel compelled to always take afternoon naps (easy to do when you are self-employed with a house and office next to each other). If you are feeling like your endurance is suffering, it might be this problem. The $64,000 question is why does this happen? I have a read a few reports online, but nothing is conclusive as to why endurance athletes suffer with poor iron. Some speculate that runners have low iron, due to the pounding their body takes, but for cyclists?

10/27/15 update: This link is good on what other supplements interfere with iron absorption and generally, all about iron deficiency.  Also check out this article on the Training Peaks site or this one on Active.com. WebMD does mention (in passing) that a cause of iron deficiency is those doing endurance training. This article talks about B-12 and iron both. In November 2015, it was up to 134 and on the weekend I had a stroke (Feb. 2016) it was at 250 for some odd reason.

4/26/16 update: I just found this quote in the classic 2002 book Serious Cycling, by Edmund R. Burke (p. 135): “Iron stores can be reduced in several ways. Periods of heavy sweating, for example, can decrease iron stores. Cyclists who sweat two to three liters per day may double their loss or iron…Cyclists who are vegetarians should be conscious of their iron consumption and make an extra effort to eat plenty of whole grains, nuts dried fruits, and other iron-rich foods…Female cyclists also need to be concerned with iron loss. Women lose an additional 15 to 45 mg each time they menstruate and stool.” He also suggests to eat foods rich in vitamin C and avoid drinking coffee at meals as it reduces iron absorption by up to 40%.

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