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Iron supplements and endurance Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was done to investigate the effect of iron supplements consumption on the athletic performance of women with iron deficiencies.

Hypothesis

Women athletes with iron deficiencies can better their performance with iron supplements.
 

Scientific Terms

Iron, hemoglobin, red blood cell, anemia, ferritin, liver

Background

Iron deficiency

Iron is a very important mineral in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an important protein found in our red blood cells as it helps to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood cells.

Iron is stored in our bodies as ferritin. When the body needs to replace new blood cells, it will first use the available ferritin in the liver. If all the ferritin has been used up, hemoglobin levels will fall. This may lead to the onset of anemia.

Having iron and hemoglobin shortages in the body will reduce the supply of oxygen to the muscles. This will result in the muscles being unable to produce energy, leading to tiredness, fatigue and poor endurance. For athletes, this can adversely affect their performance.

Athletes have a tendency to suffer from iron deficiencies because of intensive physical exercise and heavy sweating. This is more so for women athletes because of their monthly menstrual cycles. When athletes are deficient in iron, their physical and mental energy can also be adversely affected.

Iron supplements are therefore important for athletes who suffer from iron deficiencies.
 

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost ($):
200
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 14 days to conduct the science project experiment
Material availability:
You will need access to a doctor and the necessary equipment to perform the iron-deficiency tests. You will also need access to a gymnasium for the treadmill.
Safety concerns:

Ensure that a doctor is consulted before the iron supplements are prescribed to the participants.