B-Vitamins for Athletes
Athletes: Take your B’s! In addition to many important metabolic functions that the B-vitamins support, they are crucial for providing our bodies with energy.
B-vitamins are especially important during times of growth; that means us bodybuilders!
Did you know?
that of the five diseases that are caused by deficiencies of specific vitamins (ie: scurvy), three of them are from deficiencies of various B-vitamins.
B-vitamins are easily digested, absorbed and excreted from the body. Therefore the need for them is constant (daily). Because B-vitamins are water-soluble and your body effectively excretes in urine any unused amounts, toxicity (having too much) is not a concern. Increased cortisol levels (stress hormone) also greatly depletes our B-vitamins; so supplementation when under stress is vital.
In addition to stress and anxiety, high alcohol, sugar or coffee consumption can all rapidly deplete our B-vitamins. Good food sources of B-vitamins are brewers yeast, the germ and bran of cereal grains, egg yolks, nuts and seeds.
Symptoms of deficiency in B-vitamins include fatigue and decreased energy, sleep difficulties, skin or hair issues (dry flaky or sensitive skin, lips), digestive troubles, impaired fat metabolism, and irritability and depression.
Another important point to consider is that the B-vitamins are synergetic. That is, they rely on each other in various amounts to be effective. Without their partner nutrients, they will “steal from” stores in our bodies to get what is needed – leading to possible deficiencies. What does this mean for us? Always take a full spectrum B-complex, rather than just a single B-vitamin in supplementation form. When you are supplementing with extra of a specific individual one, be sure to take in combination with your B-complex or a multivitamin that will have a full-spectrum of the Bs.
Because B-vitamins are important contributors to energy-production in the body, topping them up during times of additional energy requirements is a good idea!
Depleted in our body from high activity, athletes need more, role in formatin of red blood cells, a key to glycolysis
Known as the “anti-stress” vitamin, a coenzyme to the adrenal cortex, synthesis of neurotransmitters
The “hormone” vitamin, connected to hormonal balance, dieting depletes stores of, important to metabolic function, especially amino acid metabolism
Important to energy production, cell respiration and normal cell growth
Overall support of nervous system and mental attitude
Assists in many amino acids conversions in the body and important to brain function
Helps in fat metabolism, important to the formation of new tissue
Known as the “anti-fatigue” vitamin, helps with energy by stimulating the body’s utilization of proteins, carbs and fats