Is your diet making you tired?

Do you feel like you can never quite catch up on sleep? Are you fuelling your days with coffee?

Is your diet making you tired?

In our recent survey we asked over 1000 runners about their energy levels and diet habits - and the results are pretty eye opening.

So tired!

A huge 76% of you said you often feel run down and low on energy so we dug a little deeper and looked at your diet.

Over half the people surveyed said they don’t eat the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and 43% admitted to skipping meals and snacking instead.

While 35% worry they don’t get enough iron.

A lack of essential nutrients, including iron, can cause you to feel constantly tired, but it can be difficult to get the required amounts in your diet especially when balancing a hectic work and family life.

Vitamin supplements can help boost your diet but almost half the people surveyed said this was not something they'd tried in the last few years.

Why do we need vitamins and minerals?

While vitamins and minerals don't provide energy they are needed to help your body run, keeping you at the top of your game by boosting your immune system, aiding repair, and helping cells and organs work efficiently. 

Vitamin C is an important one as it helps protect and repair cells, keeping them healthy, and helps the body absorb iron, a vital mineral for runners.

The approximate number of people suffering from iron deficiency in the UK is unknown as it’s often left untreated, simply pushed aside as tiredness, but iron is crucial.

The body uses iron to create haemoglobin, the protein in your blood that carries oxygen. Without iron your body struggles to produce red blood cells and less oxygen is transported to your muscles leaving you feeling lethargic and weak. 

This is especially important for runners as they use large muscles, increasing the need for oxygen in the muscles and have increased iron loss through sweat and urine.

Low iron levels can reduce your running performance and general energy levels.

Calcium, along with vitamin D is also essential for optimal bone health, a healthy immune system and to reduce the risk of injury, inflammation and impaired muscle function.

How to stop feeling tired

Increasing your intake of some vitamins and minerals such as iron and vitamin C can help increase energy levels, reduce tiredness and take your training up a notch.

While most people can get all the iron they need by eating a varied and balanced diet longer, distance runners need about 70% more iron than the general population.

Eating iron-rich foods like spinach, red meat, oysters, and liver is a great place to start but for most runners diet alone is not always enough to reach adequate iron levels.

Specialist athlete supplement brand Spatone commissioned this survey on over 1,000 runners. For an extra iron boost try Spatone liquid supplement and consider taking multivitamins produced specifically for athletes.