Sports Nutrition: Frequently Asked Questions (cont.)
The RDA for iron is 15 milligrams a day for women and 10
milligrams a day for men. Red meat, fish and poultry are good sources of iron.
Vegetarian sources of iron include: fortified breakfast cereals,
beans and green leafy vegetables.
Should I take an iron supplement?
supplements will not improve performance unless an athlete is truly iron
deficient. Too much iron can cause constipation, diarrhea, nausea
and may interfere with the absorption of other
nutrients such as cooper
and zinc. Therefore, iron supplements should not be
taken without proper
Why is calcium so important?
Last Editorial Review: 6/19/2003
Calcium is needed for strong
bones and proper muscle function. Dairy foods are the best source of calcium.
However, studies show that many female athletes who are trying to lose weight
cut back on dairy products. Female athletes who do not get enough calcium may be
at risk for stress fractures and, when they are older they will be at risk for
osteoporosis. Young women
between the ages of 9 and 18 need about 1,300
milligrams of calcium a
day. Adults aged 19 through 50 need 1,000
milligrams daily, while those
51 and older should aim for 1,200 milligrams. Low-
fat dairy products are
a rich source of calcium and are low in fat
For additional information, please visit the Nutrition and
Vitamins and Calcium Supplements Centers.