Could Poor Circulation in Athletes Be Caused by Anemia
In order for athletes to compete and perform well, good blood circulation is needed throughout the body. An athlete’s muscles require blood and oxygen in order to push the body harder, work out longer, and run a farther distance.
But what athletes might not know is that poor blood circulation could result from a lack of iron in the body. Poor circulation is one of the lesser-known symptoms of anemia, but a common one among athletes. This is due to the fact that other common causes of this condition, such as lack of exercise and smoking cigarettes, are not a factor in most athletes’ lives.
This article discusses whether poor circulation in athletes can be caused by anemia and how the physical symptoms present themselves.
The Importance of Circulation for Athletes
The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, arteries, and veins that collectively transport blood to the various parts of the body. These essential components operate in a continuous cycle to not only ensure blood circulation, but also stabilize body temperature, maintain pH balance, and transport nutrients to and from bodily cells.
When blood isn’t flowing properly through the body, a blockage of the arteries is often to blame. This means that the heart, brain, and other parts of the body aren’t receiving the nutrients they need on a steady basis. In athletes, a lack of blood flow can also mean compromised functioning of the arms, legs, hands, and feet. If left untreated, poor circulation can lead to more serious conditions like high blood pressure, blood clots, organ damage, and stroke.
The Connection Between Blood Circulation and Anemia
Anemia commonly results in a wide array of physical symptoms, such as fatigue, paleness, and difficulty concentrating. However, cardiovascular symptoms like increased heart rate, chest pains, and poor circulation can also occur.
Common signs of poor blood flow include muscle cramps, tingling, numbness, and dizziness. Athletes who are anemic may experience cold hands and feet due to their circulation issues. This sense of coldness signals that blood is not flowing to these parts of the body as it should.
Other Causes of Poor Circulation
However, anemia certainly isn’t the only condition that can cause poor blood circulation in athletes. Oftentimes, one’s circulation is affected by lifestyle habits. Athletes who eat too many cheat meals with foods high in sugar and trans fats may be contributing to poor circulation. It is also common for athletes who maintain an unhealthily low body weight to struggle with circulation issues.
Easy Ways to Boost Blood Circulation
Athletes who suspect that their blood circulation problem are due to low iron should consult a doctor to get their iron levels tested. For these individuals, high potency iron supplements like Fergon may be recommended to restore iron in the body and boost the flow of blood.
It is recommended for athletes to practice yoga to lower their blood pressure, improve circulation, and deal with the stresses of competition in a healthy way. Getting a sports massage may also help to boost circulation in an athlete’s body. Eating beets or drinking beet juice may also help improve blood circulation as well because beets contains nitrates that are known to open up blood vessels and improve the natural flow of blood. Other healthy foods that support good blood circulation are avocados, chia seeds, and coconut oil.
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