A final important consideration when it comes to supplementation is the psychological influence of the supplement. Some people feel that taking a supplement helps them to perform better. The placebo effect is when a person's belief that something has an effect results in a real physical change. For example, when someone gets confidence from taking a supplement, even if there is no proof of that supplement's impact, discontinuing use of the supplement may have a powerful effect on the person's state of mind. It may, in fact, be detrimental to his or her physical performance. In cases such as these, the continuation of the supplement is fine as long as it poses no serious health threat to the taker.
Iron is a mineral that plays several important role in the body. An adequate supply of iron in the blood ensures that oxygen is getting to all body cells. When cells have plenty of oxygen they are best able to convert food into energy that the body can use. So you see, consuming enough iron is vital to an exerciser's energy and overall performance. Iron deficiency anemia is perhaps the most common deficiency in the United States. It affects as many as 58 percent of all females. Besides women, other groups at risk for iron deficiency anemia include adolescents and athletes.
Factors that lead to an iron deficiency in athletes include heavy training, decreased iron absorption, breakdown of red blood cells during exercise, gastrointestinal bleeding, iron loss through awaiting, and inadequate dietary intake. Vegetarians are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency since the iron that plan sources supply is not as readily absorbed as is iron obtained from animal sources. When symptoms of iron deficiency, such as fatigue, are present, a simple blood test is done to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment includes increased dietary iron intake as well as supplementation.