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Effect of iron supplementation on endurance capacity in iron-depleted female runners

KLINGSHIRN LISA A.; PATE, RUSSELL R.; BOURQUE, SHARON P.; DAVIS, J. MARK; SARGENT, ROGER G.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 1992
Physical Fitness and Performance: PDF Only

ABSTRACT

KLINGSHIRN, L. A., R. R. PATE, S. P. BOURQUE, J. M. DAVIS, and R. G. SARGENT. Effect of iron supplementation on endurance capacity in iron-depleted female runners. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 24, No. 7, pp. 819–824, 1992. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of oral iron supplementation on endurance performance in initially iron-depleted, nonanemic female distance runners. Eighteen iron-depleted (serum ferritin ≤20 ng·ml-1, hemoglobin ≥ 12 g·dl-1) women (22–39 yr) performed a JOURNAL/mespex/04.02/00005768-199207000-00013/ENTITY_OV0312/v/2017-07-20T222320Z/r/image-pngO2max test and an endurance run to exhaustion. Subjects were pair-matched on the basis of endurance time and then randomly assigned to an iron supplement or a placebo group. Following supplementation, the iron group had a significantly higher (P = 0.03) mean serum ferritin concentration (23.4 vs 15.7·ng-ml-1) and lower (P = 0.04) mean total iron-binding capacity than the placebo group. Both groups increased their time to exhaustion (25.5% and 22.2% for the iron and placebo groups, respectively) but were not significantly different (P = 0.72) from each other. There were also no differences (P> 0.05) between the groups with respect to lactate concentrations and physiological measures taken during the two exercise tests. The results of this study suggest that 8 wk of oral iron supplementation improves iron status in iron-depleted female distance runners, but does not enhance endurance capacity.

©1992The American College of Sports Medicine