Our bodies need a certain amount of vitamins to function optimally, but a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism stated that athletes in particular need higher levels of B-vitamins. B-vitamins are necessary for cell repair and production; they also convert protein and carbohydrates into energy.
The following is a list of those B-vitamins that we need.
- B1 : thiamin
- B2 : riboflavin
- B3 : niacin
- B5 : pantothenic acid
- B6 : pyridoxine
- B7 : biotin
- B9 : folic acid
- B12 : cobalamin
The researchers, who conducted the study, found that athletes lacking in B vitamins showed noticeably reduced performance in high-intensity exercise. Their bodies also showed an increased inability to repair damaged muscles or to build muscle mass than athletes whose diets were rich in B vitamins.
Furthermore, B vitamins are critical for energy production, red blood cell production, and immune function. High intensity exercise rapidly depletes vital nutrients through sweat and urine output; exposure to both physical and mental stress also saps the available supply of B-vitamins. So in most cases, athletes in training require at least twice the recommended daily amount of B-vitamins to stay in peak condition.
Some symptoms of B vitamin deficiency include cracks in the corner of the mouth, sore mouth and/or tongue, vertical lip lines, increased light or noise sensitivity, irritability, sleep problems, and/or skin problems.
B-vitamin rich foods include whole grains, liver, poultry, fish, lean meats, pork, green leafy vegetables, eggs, wheat germ and orange juice. Generally, the more processed the food the lower the content of all the B-vitamins. A balanced diet is the best approach to ensure the necessary level of B vitamins for the energy, metabolism and muscle function requirements of any serious athlete.
Please call your Chiropractor at AHS on 9948 2826 or visit our clinic at 9/470 Sydney Rd in Balgowlah servicing the surrounding suburbs of Allambie, Balgowlah Heights, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly on the Northern Beaches.
Woolf, K., & Manore, M.M. 2006. B-vitamins and exercise: Does exercise alter requirements?
International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 16 (5), 453–84.