Table of Contents
The body requires several nutrients to function properly and respond well to your exertion in the gym or the outdoors. One such group of nutrients is B-vitamins that ensures essential bodily functions. Essentially all the vitamins can be obtained by regular consumption of a wide variety of foods. However, modern dietary choices, medications, and use of alcohol have increased the need for B vitamins.
Medical conditions, genetics, and pregnancy also increase the body’s need for them. In such cases, doctors prescribe supplements that contain all eight B-vitamins or B-complex vitamins. Make sure that your diet contains all the right foods to maintain a healthy level of nutrients in your body. Find out about FITFEAST here with which you can consult expert nutritionists in real-time for the best dietary recommendations.
- B-vitamins are responsible for converting food into usable energy. The mildest deficiencies of any of the B-vitamins decreases the body reparation abilities post-workout. Severe deficiency known as anemia leads to reduced energy levels and performance while working out.
- Athletes are recommended to consume B-complex vitamins and in case they don’t, they find it considerably hard to build muscles or bounce back from injuries. A vitamin B deficiency affects people who go for high-intensity workouts like HIIT, CrossFit, Boxing, etc.
- Dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath are common symptoms among those who have Vitamin B anemia. It might also lead to chest pain and headaches that could prevent you from working out or continuing.
Vitamin deficiencies can worsen the symptoms when you workout. If you workout hard you sweat more, which leads to the depletion of the nutrients in your body. Your poor eating habits (if any) will only add to the problem. People who avoid dairy or eggs, for whatever reasons, are more susceptible to B vitamins, calcium, and minerals deficiencies.
Lifestyle factors and digestive disorders like celiac disease can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and cause a Vitamin B deficiency. Alcoholism and smoking can also cause these problems. Kids and old age people with asthma may be exceedingly vulnerable to vitamin B6 deficiency.
B1 (Thiamin) - facilitates the conversion of nutrients into energy. Vitamin B1 is especially good for enhancing mental functions and mood. Vitamin B1 or Thiamine deficiency causes Berri Beri, which is a chronic ailment with severe symptoms. Consume pork, grain, nuts, seeds, and wheat-germs to avoid thiamine deficiency.
B2 (Riboflavin) - another essential B-vitamin that helps convert nutrients into energy; more importantly, it plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. Consuming foods high in vitamin B2 improves the immune system in addition to digestive and respiratory health. Organs meats, mushrooms, beef, milk, and cheese are packed with riboflavin.
B3 (Niacin) - one of the most important B vitamins, Niacin helps in more than 50 metabolic processes. Vitamin B3 facilitates the production of hormones, regulation of cholesterol levels, energy production, and detoxification. The body gets protein directly or through protein break down. Consuming protein-rich foods can satiate a considerable portion of your body’s niacin needs. The rest can be achieved by eating niacin-rich foods like tuna, chicken, beef liver, and milk. Lentils are also a good source of Vitamin B3.
B5 (Pantothenic acid) - can be obtained by eating foods like liver, fish, yogurt, and avocado. It supports the other vitamins in the production of energy and hormones in addition to red blood cell manufacturing.
B6 (Pyridoxine) - this one is particularly important for people who include strength training in their routines. It is a very important amino acid when it comes to protein building, which is why bodybuilders should get enough of it. It transforms amino acids into 5,000+ types of proteins and up to 60 types of enzymes that assist bodily functions. Moreover, Pyridoxine is essential for a healthy heart and immune system in addition to managing depression. Vitamin B6 deficiency causes abnormal nervous system function, skin disorders, insomnia, confusion, and poor coordination. Major sources of Pyridoxine are whole-grain cereals, brown rice, chickpeas, salmon, potatoes, and liver.
B7 (Biotin) - another one of the B-vitamins that convert nutrients into energy along with protein conversion. Many gym-goers and other fitness enthusiasts consume egg whites quite often. Egg whites contain avidin that binds biotin. Biotin deficiency causes hair fall. Consume beef, liver, egg yolk, nuts, whole grains, yeast, salmon, and cheese to get enough Vitamin B7.
B9 (Folic Acid) - getting enough folic acid is important to prevent birth defects; it is good for reproductive health. It also facilitates energy production, aids appetite, and improves mood and sleep. Folic acid is good for cardiovascular health and assists cell replacement. Consume leafy greens, liver, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc. to maintain Vitamin B9 levels.
B12 (Cobalamin) - like most other B-vitamins, Cobalamin helps convert nutrients into energy. It keeps the red blood cells healthy, which enables them to carry oxygen and nutrients across the body. Vitamin B12 is essential for all the immune system cells for optimal functioning. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes pernicious anemia, which leads to numbness, weakness, and fever. Cobalamin cannot be absorbed or used properly without it combining with a mucoprotein in the stomach, which is a common problem among vegetarians. Major sources of Vitamin B12 are liver, beef, milk, poultry, egg yolk, and other animal products.