Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

European Journal of Sport Science


Taylor & Francis


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute / Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)




Royal Perth Hospital Research Foundation Fellowship / Emerging Leader Fellowship from the Western Australian Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, Department of Health, WA.


Attwell, C., McKay, A., Sim, M., Dugan, C., Nicholas, J., Hopper, L., & Peeling, P. (2023). Timing is everything, but does it really matter? Impact of 8-weeks morning versus evening iron supplementation in ballet and contemporary dancers. European Journal of Sport Science, 23(12), 2275-2282.


The effectiveness of a morning versus evening oral iron supplement strategy to increase iron stores was explored. Ballet and contemporary dancers with serum ferritin (sFer) < 50 g/L (n = 14), were supplemented daily with 105 mg elemental oral iron in either the morning (FeAM) or evening (FePM) for 8 weeks. A control group (n = 6) with sFer > 50 g/L were given no supplement over the same period. Dancers’ sFer were measured at baseline and post-intervention. Assessment of daily training load, dietary intake, and menstruation were made. A significant interaction (p < 0.001) showed the within group sFer change over the 8-week intervention in FeAM (+25.9 ± 10.5 g/L) and FePM, (+22.3 ± 13.6 g/L) was significantly different to CON (−30.17 ± 28.7 g/L; both p = 0.001). This change was not different between FeAM and FePM (p = 0.778). sFer levels within FeAM and FePM significantly increased over the 8-weeks; however, they significantly decreased in the CON group (all p < 0.05). Post-intervention sFer levels were no longer different between the three groups (p > 0.05). Training load, dietary intake, and number of menstrual cycles incurred were similar between FeAM and FePM (p > 0.05). Oral iron supplementation in either the morning or evening appears equally effective in increasing sFer levels in dancers with sub-optimal iron status.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.