Iron supplementation improves athletic performance in reproductive-age women, according to a meta-analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The pooling of data from 22 studies showed that iron supplementation improved both maximal exercise performance (demonstrated by an increase in maximal oxygen consumption) and submaximal exercise performance (demonstrated by a lower heart rate during exercise). The researchers conclude that, “ Daily iron supplementation significantly improves maximal and submaximal exercise performance in women of reproductive age, providing a rationale to prevent and treat iron deficiency in this group.”
Pasricha S, Low M, Thompson J, et al: Iron supplementation benefits physical performance in women of reproductive age. Journal of Nutrition 2014;144:906-914.