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Key Vitamins and Minerals for the Female Runner

Nutrient status is very important for the female runner, especially for musculoskeletal health and for performance. Learn about Iron, Vitamin D and Magnesium regarded as foundational nutrients for good health.

Discover how to recognise the signs and symptoms of insufficiency and what foods to include in your food plan to promote nutrient status.


What are the key vitamins and minerals we should consider as female runners and why they are important for performance.


The role of iron in supporting support oxygen and blood, and energy production plus reasons we may be at risk of depletion i.e. menstruation, heel strikes (haemolysis) and secretion of hepcidin in the digestive system.


Highlighting the signs of insufficiency or deficiency in iron status and typical signs and symptoms to check for.


Choosing iron rich foods – what are the best sources (including plant based).


Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) and why is it so important for the female runner (bone health, muscle contraction and immune health)


Food sources and supplementation of Vitamin D.


Magnesium and the importance for runners (energy function, bone health, electrolyte balance, and conversion of glucose to glycogen.


Common signs and symptoms of suboptimal magnesium.


Foods sources rich in magnesium.


Key Take Aways from this episode:

  • It is important to consume a balanced and varied diet to ensure an adequate intake of ALL nutrients on a daily basis.
  • Women need to take extra care and consider some key micronutrients to support their running performance, especially iron.
  • Supplements have a role. However, food comes first. If a true deficiency becomes apparent, then supplements may be necessary whilst also introducing key foods.
  • Be aware of your body and mindful of signs and symptoms – address them, don’t ignore them.

Related Episodes:

Sports Nutrition Foundations for Female Runners

Performance Effects of Overtraining Syndrome


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you’ll join us again. If you’d like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you’re ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

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If you’d like help from Karen and Aileen to design a personalised sports nutrition plan for your running – please contact them at

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen