Monday, 13 October 2014

Strong like IRON! Are you getting enough?

Feeling weak and tired? Not sure why your skin is pale and bruising? Are you always cold? You might be iron deficient.

This is a very common issue for runners and women in particular. It can hinder performance and let's be honest, that's the last thing any athlete wants. I've been fighting low iron since early 2012 after making several blood donations. Red blood cells rebuild their numbers, but they need iron to do that and it takes time! By following a healthy diet full of iron rich foods you can help increase your iron levels. Here is a basic list of some things to consider when choosing what foods to eat:

High Iron Foods:

  • Spinach
  • Red meat (your body absorbs iron from meat most easily)
  • Peas, lentils, beans, tofu
  • Dried fruits like plums, apricots and raisins 
  • Dark leafy greens like chard and kale

Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron- tomatoes, citrus, broccoli and lots of other fresh fruit and veggies. 

Vitamin B12 is also very good to have too!

What to avoid: 

  • Caffeine
  • Calcium taken at the same time(can prevent absorption) 

In addition to making simple diet changes, you can also take an iron supplement. Iron supplements can really help speed up your recovery, but you need to make sure you find one that is right for you. Too much iron can be harmful so please read the directions on the bottle and follow them! Iron supplements can come in lots of different forms, but pill forms and liquid forms are very common. I’ve tried Floradix, a liquid supplement that worked great! I have to say, one of my favourites has been Mega Food’s Blood Builder, though. 

Blood Builder is an all natural plant based iron supplement. It is completely vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, kosher and non-gmo! Score one for the planet! Also it is easy on your stomach unlike some harsh iron pills. This means a happy digestion system for you! All it takes is one pill a day and you can increase your iron levels in just a few months.  

Highlights: 
Pills are small, about the size of a smartie
Contains vitamins C and B12 as well to help absorption
All natural
Made from beet root
Non-GMO
Vegan
Has increased my ferritin (stored iron levels)
Easy to transport

Lowlights:
Can't think of any! 

Find Blood Builder at great prices at Nutrition House Robson Street!! For a discount card saving you 15%, please let me know and Couple of Runners can mail you one! 

Before you start taking any iron supplements please consult your doctor and get an iron test to confirm potential iron deficiency and unroot the causes of it. They will be able to advise you on the correct course of action to take! 


Good luck!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Get your Amino On!

As fitness fanatics and endurance runners, we always looking for the "right stuff" to perform the best we can. Thanks to Nutrition House Robson Street, Joel and I have been able to try lots of different sports supplements. One of the intra-workouts that we are really enjoying is Aminolast by Gaspari Nutrition. This product contains the BCAA's our bodies need and has a refreshing taste. 




Pros: 
  • Not too sweet (I would recommend half a scoop to those who like it even less sweet- how I generally enjoy it)
  • Contains BCAA's
  • Contains Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium
  • Helps to promote recovery
  • Helps to prevent muscle break down
  • Low calorie (only 10 per serving)
  • Carb free


Cons:
  • Leaves filmy residue in water bottle. 

What's it best for:
Take before, during or after a workout to help performance and recovery. I would recommend taking it during a strength workout to help replenish Amino acids. 

Note to endurance runners: If you are looking for carbs, don't take this during exercise. Instead drink it after!

For 15% off discount cards at Nutrition House Robson Street (from Couple of Runners), leave a comment!

Happy Workouts!