Importance Of Iron & Zinc : Quick Notes

Even marginal deficiencies in iron and zinc can result in reduced performance capacity and overall health and well being. A diet that’s low in iron will significantly hinder your energy levels due to associated reductions in oxygen delivery to muscles. Iron is the main component of haemoglobin, the main transporter of oxygen, and if oxygen delivery is compromised then this impacts on the conversion of metabolites to energy!

Zinc is a key player in a plethora of bodily functions including cell regulation, healthy immune response, and cell division (about as important as it gets, right?), and the breakdown of carbohydrates. There is a general rule of thumb with zinc, and that is if you’re getting enough protein in your diet the chances are you’re getting enough zinc. However zinc can be low in athletes who regularly resistance train and don’t consume enough protein, so care should be taken here in order to avoid deficiencies.

Note: If you supplement with iron be sure to keep your zinc levels up. Supplemented iron can interfere with the absorption of zinc and copper, as well as leading to constipation… not good at all!


Eberle, S, G. (2014). Endurance Sports Nutrition. Fuel your body for optimal performance. 3rd Ed. Runners Colitis. IL: Human Kinetics

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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