Iron Deficiency: This Is Why Fit Women Might Be Most at Risk

Ever feel sapped of energy and lacking focus?

You spin weekly, factor in 15 minutes for a quick yoga flow before work daily and are no stranger to half marathon training plans.

Chuck in an obsession with sleep quality and a diet filled with colour and you’d think you’ve got this health thing on lockdown, right?

Not so fast. Enter iron deficiency – the issue that can deplete your energy, sap your concentration and leave you feeling dizzy – and that plagues fit women.

Charlotte Jelleyman had always been a better than average runner. The 27-year-old phD student regularly put in 50-minute runs in a cross-country 10k with her triathlon club. But last year, she began to find training a struggle.

‘My boyfriend entered us into a relay marathon, which involved running 25 miles each, so I had to step up my training,’ she says.

Within a couple of months, I noticed my legs felt really heavy. My lungs couldn’t cope, even at speeds and intensities lower than I knew I was capable of. I also began needing an extra hour of sleep at night.’