One of the most important blood measurements for aerobic performance is your iron status. Iron deficiency anemia is much more prevalent than most people realize. Iron stores are so vital to healthy and viable RBCs, and ultimately to an athlete’s performance.
Your body relies on iron in the synthesis of red blood cells to carry oxygen to all its cells. Without enough iron, your red blood cells will be unable to supply enough oxygen and your performance will suffer. Iron is transported in the blood as transferrin, a major transport protein. Transferrin carries 60-70% of the body’s iron.
The total amount of iron bound to transferrin is referred to as total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). TIBC can help you understand between different types of anemia. TIBC is high in iron deficiency anemia and low/normal with anemia of chronic disease.
Ferritin is a protein found inside cells that stores iron so your body can use it later. A ferritin test indirectly measures the amount of iron in your blood.
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