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Hi, I have posted before about anemia and needing to get my iron levels increased. We have also discussed that the presence of calcium blocks iron absoprtion (as does caffeine, wine, etc) . So as a vegetarian I have been having trouble figuring out how to refuel from morning runs and also time the iron.
Many of the whey based protein powders contain calcium. Even soy has some.
I found some rice protein powder, it is called Nutribiotic. Has anyone ever heard of it or used it? A serving has 12g protein which is a nice start. No calcium. I just get a little leery of non food items, so I wanted to throw it out there for discussion. It says on it "not for use other than hunger". Does this mean the protein doesn't count? Or is that just a general disclaimer that all powders say. I am not real experienced with engineered food. Thanks for any help.
Not sure what you have for breakfast but other good times for getting iron are your main meals. If your run and calcium-containing protein drink are within an hour or so of lunch, can you move lunch back - or work to get your iron at dinner? I'm sure you know that spinach is a top source of non-heme iron as are other dark greens, lentils, some beans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. But you want to make sure you are combining these with a vitamin C source. I am mostly vegetarian but do eat a bit of fish (my husband calls it "flexitarianism" :) ) but I make an effort to eat a salad at lunch or dinner which has plenty of spinach, some beans, maybe a sprinkling of seeds but with red or yellow pepper/capsicum, tomato, beets etc which contain the Vit C necessary for iron absorption...so go ahead, have your recovery drink, just be aware of when you are eating for iron that day and combine it with a Vitamin C source at a different time to your recovery drink...
I would suggest something similar to the other poster. Since calcium intake of women is also often too low, I don't think your best approach to increasing iron intake is to avoid calcium. Are you taking iron pills?
A salad with dark, leafy greens topped with citrus fruits would help the absorption of the iron. If you top it with some tofu and seeds or nuts it would give you lots of protein too. I assume you are talking about iron deficiency anemia and not macrocytic or pernicious anemia.
Thanks for answering. I have two problems - getting enough protein, plus getting enough iron. I am pretty sure that in an attempt to get protein ( from dairy sources) in the past, I have impeded my iron absorption. I am trying to time the whole thing better, but also to make sure I get enough protein for recovery. I am running about 30 - 40 miles a week.
We have quite the conundrum going on at my household, with several different food allergies plus celiac disease. So there's no gluten here and no nuts or seeds. My immediate goal is to stabilize by any means necessary, and slowly figure out how to do it without supplements.
Mainly, I just wanted to make sure rice protein "counts". I'd hate to choke that stuff down and then find out it's an incomplete source or something.
I hope I am not too confusing. I shouldn't have asked will [this protein ] help anemia. Duh. I meant , will it be compatible with my iron supplement. If it is, I can drink some when I get home from my run, take my iron supp, and then in a couple of hours I can just eat whatever I want for the rest of the day without worrying about dairy blocking iron.
I know that's a ton to follow. Thx for your patience.
Have you thought about taking your iron pill at bed time? Usually stomach is empty, therefore increasing absorption; and if you get nausea from pills you will be asleep by the time it starts. This was a suggestion from an ob-gyn with prenatal vitamins.
That is so obvious.....originally I was thinking I can't have it at bedtime b/c I got to bed ridicuslously early. I won't admit what time, but I will tell you that I get up 4 or 4:30 every morning.
So I was thinking, bedtime is too close to dinnertime, what if I had kale or cheese. But you're right. There has to at least be a 2 hour window between eating and sleeping. If not, then I better look at that as well.
Maybe bedtime is the most manageable time after all. Thx.
I would just use a normal recovery drink, I do and I am vegetarian (25 years +) and have had iron deficiency anaemia which is definitely debilitating. It has taken over a year to get to having iron levels stabilized and I can now go back to a higher level of training.
I also live in a household with one member having to have a gluten free diet. Because I did not look after myself properly and put others needs above my own, I got into the situation where I developed anemia. So now I make sure I look after myself first and then I am able to make sure the other members of my family are also well catered for. This can mean sometimes cooking more than one family meal.
This is how I did it. I take a high dose iron tablet once a day (it was twice a day) and twice daily during my period. I have my iron levels checked regularly to make sure I am within the normal range. I find that I feel better when they are on the high end of normal. This is common for endurance athletes. I am vigilant about what I eat and when I eat it. I do not drink tea and am careful about when I consume coffee. Also don't drink alcohol. I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means I eat free range eggs and some dairy. I do not eat fish or seafood. Lots of foods have protein in them and by increasing your grains and pulses you should get most of your protein needs without having to resort to dairy for protein. Just take your iron supplement either two hours before or two hours after any food containing calcium. I often take mine about an hour after lunch, or later in the evening. I have not had any stomach upset from the iron tablets. If you do, take them with your meal.
At one stage, I was thinking that I may have to stop being a vegetarian if I wanted to continue doing triathlons. This was a huge dilemma for me as I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons and had been one for years. I gave myself a deadline of six months to see if I could look after myself properly and make sure my vegetarian diet was of quality for my body's needs. So I took the time to prepare and cook nutritious and well balanced vegetarian meals instead of just making do with what I cooked for the family, I reduced the amount of training and racing I was doing and took extra recovery time if I noticed the signs of anemia creeping back. I will probably have to continue to take an iron supplement as long as I am doing endurance type activities and this is ok with me at this time because I certainly feel better with normal iron levels.