Exercise and B Vitamins

During exercise, you use up calories as opposed to vitamins or minerals. As such, you may think that you don't need more of those nutrients? Find out everything you need to know about exercise and B vitamins.
Exercise and B Vitamins

Last update: 10 March, 2019

Indeed, a balanced diet is crucial when you exercise. But did you know there’s an important connection between exercise and B vitamins? What’s more, it’s essential that you monitor your intake, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle. Find out what you need to know about exercise and B vitamins below.

Exercise and vitamins

In this article, we’re talking about natural vitamins. In other words, those you can find in food as opposed to shakes or pills in gyms or fitness centers.

Now, keep in mind that if you don’t have enough minerals in your body, then it won’t be able to perform properly. Indeed, you’ll lack the strength and vigor you need to complete a workout.

Exercise and B vitamins

Despite what people believe, athletes – especially professional ones – eat more protein and vitamins than sedentary or overweight people. Why is that? Well, it’s because they need more “fuel” for their training!

B vitamins and their benefits in sports

Indeed, all vitamins are important for your health and development. Still, there are some that you need especially if you practice sports (or intend to start soon). The B vitamins you should add to your diet include:

1. Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, your body absorbs this through your small intestine, especially if you combine it with vitamin C and folic acid. What’s more, it’s crucial to be able to exercise.

Some substances that inhibit vitamin B are ethanol, which is present in alcohol, as well as thiaminase, which you can find in tea and coffee.

The best sources of vitamin B1 are whole grains (rice, oats, wheat), nuts, pork or beef, dairy, eggs, and seafood.

Meat, eggs, liver, fish

2. Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is water-soluble and crucial for healthy skin, corneas, and mucous membranes. It also plays a role in the metabolism of other vitamins. You should take 1.7 mg of B2 per day (adults). Also, keep in mind it’s not cumulative. In other words, your body eliminates it through your urine.

Its sources include milk, cheese, vegetables, liver, and leafy green vegetables (spinach, chard, and lettuce, among others).

3. Vitamin B3

Also called niacin, it’s water soluble, so your body doesn’t store it. Rather, it eliminates it through urine. Vitamin B3 helps to synthesize the hormones that allow growth (ideal for bodybuilding). What’s more, it enhances the circulatory system and can help stabilize blood glucose. Its supplement form may, however, be problematic in those with diabetes.

You can find this vitamin in liver, lean meat, yeast, nuts, and legumes. Try to consume 14 to 18 mg per day: if you eat too much, you can experience fatigue during exercise or burn less fat.

4. Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid – after the Greek word that means “everywhere” – is an essential nutrient. This is because it helps your body’s functioning and helps it to recover after intense exercise.

Although there’s vitamin B5 in many foods, there’s more of it in cereals, brewer’s yeast, legumes, eggs, royal jelly, and meat. In adults, the appropriate daily dose is 5 mg.

5. Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine is water soluble, meaning your body eliminates it through urine. As such, you have to replenish your levels every day by eating meat, eggs, wheat germ, legumes, fish, and whole grains.

Cup of yogurt with cereals

It’s one of the most popular vitamins among athletes since it boosts muscle performance and gives you energy while training. Those following a high protein diet should increase their dose of vitamin B6.

6. Vitamin B12

Cobalamin helps your brain to function, boosts protein and cell metabolism, and plays a role in blood formation. The main sources of vitamin B12 are almost all animal sourced foods: dairy, seafood, eggs, and meat. It’s present in small doses of fermented kombucha tea, which is very popular in Asia and is gaining popularity in North America.

In conclusion, exercise and B vitamins are closely related to one another. Make sure you monitor your diet to ensure you’re consuming enough.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Manore, M. M. (2000). Effect of physical activity on thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6 requirements. In American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.