When we exercise, we consume calories and not vitamins or minerals. In theory we would not need to increase our intake of these nutrients. A balanced diet is very important when we play sports. However, if our goal is to lose weight or gain muscle mass, taking the appropriate amount of vitamins is also essential. In this article we talk about B vitamin: types and properties.

Exercise and vitamins

This time we are referring to natural vitamins, that is, those that we can find in food and not in smoothies or pills advertised in gyms and fitness centres.

We must keep in mind that if we do not have enough minerals in the body, we will not be able to exercise properly: we will lack the strength and stamina to complete the routine.

Contrary to popular belief, athletes, especially professionals, eat more proteins and vitamins than sedentary or overweight people. Why? Because they need more “fuel” to accomplish their sporting goals!

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Vitamins of group B and benefits for sports

It is true that all vitamins are important for our health and our development. However those of group B are indispensable for those who practice sports (or plan to start very soon). The B vitamins that we should add to our diet are:

1.Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, vitamin B1 is absorbed by the small intestine – especially in combination with vitamin C and folic acid – and is necessary for the body to function properly.

Some substances that inhibit vitamin B are ethanol – found in alcoholic beverages – and thiamine, which is found in tea and coffee.

For its part, the best sources of this nutrient are whole grains. Such as rice, oats, wheat, nuts, pork or beef, dairy products, eggs and shellfish.

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2.Vitamin B2

Also called riboflavin, it is water-soluble and necessary for the good health of the skin. Even more for mucous membranes and corneas, as well as for the metabolism of other vitamins. For adults, it is necessary to consume 1.7 milligrams of vitamin B2 per day, which are not cumulative: the excess is eliminated in the urine.

Sources of this vitamin are milk, cheese, legumes, liver and green leafy vegetables ( spinach, beets, lettuce, etc.).

3.Vitamin B3

It’s also called niacin, it is soluble in water. Like the previous one, it is not stored and is eliminated through the urinary tract. Among the functions of vitamin B3 we can indicate that it helps in the synthesis of hormones that allow muscle growth (ideal if we do bodybuilding), improves the circulatory system and stabilizes blood sugar.

We can find this vitamin in liver, lean meat, yeast, nuts and legumes. It is recommended to consume between 14 and 18 milligrams a day : if we ingest a larger amount we can suffer from fatigue during exercise or a block in fat burning.

4.Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid – a word that in Greek means “everywhere”. It is an essential nutrient in our body. It facilitates its functioning and is ideal for recovery after a busy day of exercise.

Although vitamin B5 is found in many foods, it is most abundant in grains, brewer’s yeast, legumes, eggs, royal jelly, and meat. In adults, the adequate daily dose is 5 milligrams.

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5.Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine is water soluble, which is why it is eliminated in the urine, and we must replace it every day by consuming meat, eggs, wheat germ, legumes, fish and whole grains.

6.Vitamin B12

Also called cobalamin, it helps with brain function, protein and cell metabolism, and blood formation. The main sources of vitamin B12 are almost all foods of animal origin: dairy products, seafood, eggs and meat. It is also found in small doses from fermented kombucha tea, which is very popular in Asia.

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