Updated: Sep 15
According to research, athletes that frequently exercise at high intensity may have an increased need for B-vitamins. Intense training and dieting are required for athletes to perform at optimum levels. However, these diets can sometimes be responsible for vitamin deficiencies because they lack variety due to calorie restrictions.
Female athletes are prone to B-vitamin deficiencies because of their calorie-restricted diets. While there’s nothing wrong with dieting, since athletes must perform their best, it can be a problem if they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
To be the best athlete you can be, here are the best B-vitamins you need:
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is responsible for many body processes, like the proper development of the skin, the lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and brain function. However, the most important is its role in your metabolism. It helps the body convert food into energy. It also helps the body to metabolize fats and protein.
You need B2 to have the energy and strength to go through training and perform at your best when it’s time to compete.
Vitamin B3 or niacin is similar to riboflavin in that it helps the body convert food into energy. This vitamin supports athletes by providing power and preserving muscle glycogen, the body’s predominant energy source. Having proper niacin nutrition helps athletes last longer and in endurance and intermittent sprint sports.
Niacin also helps to reduce stress and improve circulation, and slow the effect of ageing.
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is known as the "helper molecule." This vitamin is essential for athletes because it promotes normal red cell formation. Red cell counts are necessary to athletes as it regulates the excretion of water. B6 can help you with producing more energy and reducing stress. It does this by producing more iron leading to more oxygen for your muscles.
An important thing to note is that B6 intake must be regulated as overconsumption of the vitamin can lead to nerve damage. But a deficiency can also lead to lower performance.
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin can address a number of health concerns. It’s not as well-known as the other B-vitamins, but it’s as essential as the rest. Cobalamin is essential for your health and normal function. You might only know it for its function as a way to preserve good eyesight. For athletes, it’s vital for energy metabolism and blood health.
The Essential Truth
Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to function normally. But athletes who are training and consistently working towards top performance are even more critical. It will help their normal function and improve their overall performance, strength, endurance, and recovery time.
In essence, all B-vitamins help to improve your metabolism and provide you with more energy. If you find that you have B-vitamin deficiency, there is a high chance that it’s more than one. With B-vitamins, you can ensure that your body processes the food you eat in the best way possible.
Vitamin B deficiency can result in worse performance as it’s essential for recovery and energy production, so make sure to either eat vitamin B-rich food or take your supplements. There are plenty of vitamin B-rich foods. However, your calorie-restricted diet might prevent you from consuming your B-vitamins. You can always take supplements and ensure that you are at your best all the time.
If you’re from the area of Toronto, visit us here at Foods for Life. We are a local health and food store from which you can buy excellent food and all the nutritional supplements your body needs. We pride ourselves in supplying only the highest quality products, and as an athlete, you can find what you need from us.