Iron deficiency and menstrual problems are closely linked. Females need twice as much iron as males and this is due to the blood loss during menstruation, females also tend to eat less red meat than men. Iron is important in the blood to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide and in important muscular and energy producing chemical reactions.
Calcium deficiency is associated with osteoporosis and is also required for bone strength and in the blood to allow the muscles and nerves to function correctly. Causes of calcium deficiency in bones include the hormonal changes associated with menopause and inadequate calcium in the diet. Athletes with amenorrhea are also prone to calcium deficiency.
Eating disorders and sport are often linked because they share similar characteristics relating to weight control, food intake and physical activity levels. Disordered eating leads to both starvation and dehydration which ultimately hinder sporting performance.
Anorexia nervosa is common, particular among female athletes who are involved in appearance sports such as gymnastics and figure skating.
Men are more predominant to suffer from Vitamin and mineral deficiency in sport as they are not associated with the benefits they portray. Vitamins are not an energy source however they are important in the body as they assist in releasing this energy.
Many athletes, particularly males, have attempted to increase protein intake to increase protein repair and bulk. However if protein levels increase at the expense of carbohydrates, the opposite can occur as protein will become a dominant energy source.