Sports Anaemia

Sports anaemia is common in athletes and all sports persons like swimming, baseball, running, cricket, tennis ect. All these sport persons have specially designed diet plans to improve their performance. In this process, they may affect sports anaemia, which may turn into true anaemia caused by iron deficiency.

How it occurs ?

The iron depletion is associated with low levels of plasma ferritin and transferrin saturation, but the haemoglobin level is normal. Elevated serum lactate levels following exercise with subsequent muscle fatigue occur and improve with correlation of the iron depletion with haem iron.

Some athletes experience periods of anaemia during endurance exercise. Reduced haemoglobin in a runne’s blood means reduced oxygen carrying capacity with obvious implications for aerobic capacity and ability to sustain an exercise workload.

Although frank anaemia is rare among competitive athletes, low normal values are typical. Heavy exercise may induce transient anaemia during the initial weeks of training, with the hemoglobin stabilising in the long run at the low end of normal.


As said above, sports anaemia is caused by plasma volume expansion, reduced hemoglobin synthesis and increased destruction of RBCs. Possible causes of sports anaemia are a diet inadequate in iron, decreased absorption of iron and increased loss of iron.

Recent studies showed that significant amounts of iron lost in excessive sweating. As sport persons work a lot on exercises and workouts, they experience lots and lots of sweating, which is a cause for sports anaemia.

Another possibility is occasional intravascular haemolysis, the rupture of RBCs caused by stresses of heavy exercise. This effect could be chronic or transient. One more cause in athletes is hemodilution, in this some components of blood are reduced.


People affected by sports anemia can recover and gain blood through the diet. Maintaining healthy dietary habits may helps you to overcome the health problems. Here, the major problem is iron deficiency to reduce and increase absorption of iron you should include some minerals and vitamins in your daily meals.

Eat food or drink beverages that are rich in vitamin C. Iron and vitamin C combination foods are to be consumed more to avoid sports anemia. Vitamin C is very important for iron absorption. So, take foods rich in iron along with vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits. Folate also plays an important role in iron absorption, so try to take folate rich foods also.

Foods to be taken


Their are heme iron and nonheme iron foods. Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, and seafood. Non Heme iron is found in plant foods and foods fortified with iron. Our body can easily absorb heme iron foods. For more information click on this link.