Iron Nutritional Status of Karate Players: A Review
It has been suggested that iron depletion before anemia may impair performance. Karate players have risk factors for iron depletion. This study reviewed the related literature with respect to the iron nutritional status of karate players and dietary treatments. Examining iron intake in related studies indicated that the iron intakes of female players were lower than those of male players. A high prevalence of iron deficiency was reported only in female karate players. A high prevalence of hemolysis was found not only in sparring players, but also in kata (forms performed alone) players. Dietary modification is the preferred strategy to ensure adequate iron intake, maintenance of iron levels, and as the first line of action to prevent iron deficiency. Because most reports on iron nutrition status of karate players are from Japan and all studies are cross sectional, future research investigating the iron nutritional status of karate players should include (i) Studies from Western countries and (ii) Longitudinal studies. These studies should focus on adolescents since there is a paucity of information in the literature in this area.