Iron Supplements and Runners

Iron Supplements and Runners | happyfitmama.comThis is a sponsored post on behalf of MegaFood®.  As a MegaBlogger, I receive compensation and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For many years, I didn’t believe in supplements.  I took a multivitamin and an occasional probiotic but that was it.  My aversion to supplements stemmed from a group run I did years ago with a very successful long distance runner who mentioned she didn’t take vitamins since they “only give you expensive pee”. That stuck in my brain. Plus, I thought I ate a well-rounded diet, exercised and took good care of my body.  My blood work from my yearly checkups always came back great.

Why would I need to add supplements?

My training isn’t usually a case of the too’s – too long, too hard, too much.  I was feeling great until I had this painful spot on my fibula last year that felt like it was a bruise but there was no sign of a bruise on my skin. I was shocked when I found out it was a stress fracture.

After several tests, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia at 39 years old.  I thought I did everything that’s supposed to build strong bones.

Iron Supplements and Runners |

My PCP was just as confused at the results and sent me to an Endocrinologist who recommended taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

For the past 6 months, an Endocrinologist has kept a close eye on me.  I get a round of blood work every few months to make sure I’m absorbing calcium properly and that my parathyroid hormone level is in a good range. She also started to watch my iron levels and suggested a supplement.  As a female runner, I’m in the lower range of what’s considered “acceptable” for iron levels.

MegaFood Blood Builder and Iron rich foods _

Aside from incorporating plenty of iron-rich foods in my diet, I started taking an iron supplement called Blood Builder from MegaFood®, which delivers 26 mgs of gentle, effective FoodState® Iron per serving.  It’s clinically proven to increase iron levels and reduce fatigue without common gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea or constipation.*

Adverse and uncomfortable side effects tend to keep women from taking iron supplements. In a clinical study, MegaFood brought Blood Builder to 23 premenopausal women that saw improvements in every measure of iron status over an eight week period. Along with a decrease in the severity and frequency of fatigue, there were no reports of negative GI side effects related to the supplement*.

Sounds like a win to me!

MegaFood Blood Builder and Blood Builder Minis _

There are also convenient Blood Builder Minis that can be taken twice a day.  Both are made with whole foods, like beets from Stahlbush® Island Farms and organic oranges from Uncle Matt’s Organic, folic acid, B12 for healthy red blood cell production, and Vitamin C to support iron absorption. Bonus – you can take either one on an empty stomach with no worries!

It can be challenging to get all the essential nutrients we need from diet alone. Dietary supplements help fill nutrition gaps and promote overall health and wellness.  Dietary supplements play an important role in good health, but they are meant as supplements to, not substitutes for, other healthy habits. You should always be reaching for healthy foods first before supplements.  Good sources of dietary iron are: spinach, dark chocolate (yess!!!!), quinoa, lentils, broccoli, legumes, pumpkin seeds, and beef.

It just so happens that I will be working with MegaFood® this year as a MegaBlogger.  I’ve trusted their supplements for years for numerous reasons.  One is that they believe in using real whole foods that are non-GMO to make their vitamins.  And second, it’s a local company to me here in New Hampshire. I’m excited to share more about MegaFood® in the upcoming months!

I’m a believer in supplements now!

If you are concerned that your iron levels are low, please see your physician to get your serum ferritin levels checked.

Have you had your iron levels checked?

What supplements do you take regularly?

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  1. I only take a multi-vitamin nearly everyday, but I should consider an iron pill. I do eat a lot of iron rich vegetarian foods, which helps. Last time I had my iron tested it was a touch low. This seems like a better supplement than many on the market. I agree that most runners and people in general shy away from iron supplements because of the side effects or the size of the iron pill.

  2. My doctor put me on iron supplements last year after looking at my blood tests. I ate plenty of iron-rich food but I wasn’t quite absorbing enough. It has made such a difference in my daily energy and my running!

  3. I’ve never really considered Iron as a supplement – but I think I will incorporate it along with my daily vitamin intakes after reading your post.

    Thanks for sharing, Angela!

  4. This blog is really informative. Thanks for sharing your insight on how much athletes and women really need to focus on their iron intake. The Lucky Iron Fish is also a great way to naturally add iron to your diet in a safe and gentle dose, without side effects.

  5. I am a marathoner and started my journey as a runner from last 3 years. Although running is not my profession it’s my passion. I am taking multivitamins caplets from last 2 years and found an amazing change in my running.
    Also now I am starting iron pills as my body iron is not up to the mark. Always consult a doctor before starting any supplements or vitamins tablets.