Swimming World November 2021 Presents – Nutrition: The Importance of Iron – Low Means Slow! By Dawn Weatherwax

Swimming World November 2021 - Nutrition - The Importance of Iron- Low Means Slow! By Dawn Weatherwax
[Photo Courtesy: Ella Olsen / Pexels.com]

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Nutrition: The Importance of Iron- Low Means Slow!

By Dawn Weatherwax

It’s improbable to always know if your physical condition and performance is at an optimal state. Some issues have unspoken outcomes. Your body’s system can be observed by blood testing to help achieve utmost results whether you’re training for a competition, pursuing an individual goal or improving general health.

One of the most common, but silent issues that can arise in swimmers is low ferritin levels.

What Is Ferritin?
Ferritin is a protein found principally in the liver, skeletal muscles, spleen and bones. It stores iron in these areas so your body can use it in the future. The preponderance of iron stored in your body is found in ferritin. Because of this, the ferritin test is the preferred measurement to determine the amount of iron in your body.

Why Is Iron So Important to Performance?
Iron is a trace mineral that has many important roles. The main ones for sports are getting enough oxygen to the lungs and into the muscles while also supplying oxygen for energy production! Less oxygen and energy production leads to slower times. So, it is a very big deal!

Signs of Low Iron/Ferritin Levels in Sports
• Tired all the time even with proper sleep and calorie intake
• Struggling during hard sets or repetitive hard practices
• No energy left—brain wants to go faster, but the body doesn’t follow
• Shortness of breath during the activity
• Not recovering as quickly between sets or intense workouts
• Decreased exercise performance
• Increase heart rate during activity
• Headaches
• Dizziness
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Hair loss
• Weakness

Why Is It Detrimental to Check Yearly at an Annual Physical or Health Check?
Iron/ferritin levels usually go down slowly. They might be OK this year, but if you see a downward trend in your lab values the next year, you can quickly make changes in your food intake to start to go upward again. The last thing you want is to start feeling tired and slow. If you get to that point, it takes supplementation, extreme focus on iron-rich foods and TIME to get it back up to ranges that are more ideal!

 

To read more about the importance of iron and to access delicious iron-rich recipes,
Click here to download the full November issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

 

Dawn Weatherwax (RD, CSSD, LD, ATC, CSCS) is a registered/licensed dietitian with a specialty in sports nutrition and founder of Sports Nutrition 2Go. She is also a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, which is the premier professional sports nutrition credential in the United States. In addition, she is an athletic trainer with a certification in strength and conditioning from The National Strength and Conditioning Association, and she is CEO of Dawn Weatherwax’s Sports Nutrition Academy.

Weatherwax brings a comprehensive and unique understanding of the athlete’s body—and its nutritional needs—to those interested in achieving specific performance goals and optimal health. She is also the author of “The Official Snack Guide for Beleaguered Sports Parents,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sports Nutrition” and “The Sports Nutrition Guide for Young Athletes.”

 

Swimming World November 2021 - Ana Marcela Cunha - Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year - COVER [PHOTO BY KAREEM ELGAZZAR / USA TODAY SPORTS]

 

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FEATURES

012 2021 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona and David Rieder
Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock both captured Olympic gold in Tokyo and repeated as the world’s elite open water swimmers in both 2019 and 2021.

014 2021 OPEN WATER HIGHLIGHTS
by Dan D’Addona
Although the Tokyo Olympic Games commanded the spotlight in 2021, there were many other open water highlights throughout the year.

018 ISHOF FEATURE: AQUATOTS MURDER CASE—THE KATHY TONGAY STORY (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
This is the second of a three-part story about “The Aquatots Murder Case” that first appeared in the October issue of Swimming World. It is about Kathy Tongay, a little girl whose father, Russell, had been training her almost from birth to be an expert diver and swimmer. When she died at the age of 5, her father was arrested for murdering his daughter.

022 PERHAPS OVERLOOKED…BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
by John Lohn
As we creep closer to signing off on this Olympic year, Swimming World offers a look at six athletes—all members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame—who hold a special place in history, even if they are not always at the forefront of the mind.

025 CONTINUING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
by David Rieder
Anthony Nesty’s accomplishments as a swimmer in the late 1980s and ’90s made him a national icon. But decades after that, he is still making a huge impact on the sport from a different vantage point—as a coach.

028 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH DAVID CURTISS
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

030 NUTRITION: THE IMPORTANCE OF IRON—LOW MEANS SLOW!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Iron is a mineral that directly impacts performance.

COACHING

016 COACHING IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
In the first of two articles, Swimming World explores how coaches and administrators coped with the recent unpleasantness of COVID-19.

036 SPECIAL SETS: AUDREY DERIVAUX—KILLER QUEEN
by Michael J. Stott
Young Audrey Derivaux of Jersey Wahoos has turned in comparable times to the 11-12 age group superstars who have excelled before her.

040 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DISTRUST IN SWIMMING SCIENCE IS NOT A MYSTERY
by Rod Havriluk
The fact that general scientific information is routinely ignored provides some perspective about the difficulty in applying science to the sport of swimming. While a single technique element cannot guarantee success, American Lydia Jacoby’s Olympic victory suggests that using science can provide a competitive advantage.

042 SPECIAL SETS: DANIEL DIEHL—DEFINITELY DRIVEN
by Michael J. Stott
Daniel Diehl, 15, of the Cumberland YMCA Sea Otters is Maryland’s—and the nation’s—top-ranked male swimmer in the Class of 2024. In recent months, he has either broken or knocked on the door of several national age group records. In October, as the youngest male on the U.S. National Junior Team, he notched seven top 10 individual finishes at the FINA World Cup meets in Germany and Hungary.

044 Q&A WITH SWIM IRELAND’S NATIONAL PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR JON RUDD
by Michael J. Stott

045 HOW THEY TRAIN IRISH OLYMPIAN DARRAGH GREENE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

039 DRYSIDE TRAINING: BACK TO BASICS (Part 2)
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 | UP & COMERS: AVA BUHRMAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

007 THE OFFICIAL WORD

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT “DO YOU KNOW THAT….”?

032 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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