I shared this earlier this week on my social media, but it was just too good (and important!) to not share here on my website as well!
Fatigue can be caused by a variety of things, so this is not an exhaustive list! Always see a healthcare provider if you have been dealing with fatigue for more than a few weeks. Under-eating & low ferritin, iron, vitamin D, &/or B-12 are more common causes of fatigue in all athletes, but especially female & veggie athletes.
I personally have had low vitamin D, low B-12, low ferritin, & full iron deficiency at various times in my life & athletic career. I’ve been dealing with low iron & vitamin D this summer & I’m due for more blood work. I have been feeling less fatigued & stronger on my runs since eating more iron rich foods, temporarily supplementing iron, & taking a higher dose vitamin D supplement! I was already taking B-12 because B-12 is a non-negotiable for vegans. You cannot get adequate amounts from diet alone as a vegan, despite what some people might say. Most supplements should only be started after bloodwork, as recommended by a healthcare provider. 👩⚕️
What are the goal vitamin D, iron, & B-12 levels for an athlete? 🏃🏽♀️ Generally what is defined as sufficient for the general population may not be adequate for athletes. For example, anything above 20 ng/mL for vitamin D is considered adequate, but for athletes you may no perform at your best or have the best protection against stress fractures until your levels are at least 40 ng/mL (1). For iron, make sure you get your ferritin tested because it can give you a look at the iron stores in your body & maybe help catch an iron deficiency early (2). Most athletes feel best with ferritin levels that are at least 50 ng/mL & most will feel crummy once their levels drop below 30 ng/mL (2). For B-12, many athletes will feel crummy if their levels drop below 400 pg/mL, but deficiency is typically defined as under 200 pg/mL (3).
Interpreting your lab results & helping you meet your needs is a service I provide as a RDN! 💪🏻 If you want to work with me via 1:1 counseling or for a lab interpretation session sign up for a free 15 minute discovery call to learn more or contact me to get signed up. 🙂