Sports Medicine & Nutrition: Vitamins

by Jsantos, July 25, 2015

Sports Medicine & Nutrition: Vitamins

Vitamins are any of various relatively complex organic substances found in plant and animal tissue and required in small quantities for controlling metabolic processes. Everyone needs vitamins, and active people need more vitamins than sedentary people. They are essential to physical performance. Each of the vitamins has a specific responsibility in your body. Let’s check some of the most important out.

Vitamin A

Helps maintain your skin and mucous membranes and contributes to the function of night vision. Excess vitamin A intake can be toxic, since this vitamin is fat-soluble. Vitamin A can be found in carrots and yellow vegetables.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Responsible for carbohydrate metabolism along the function of your nervous system. More than 1,000 milligrams of B1 might cause increased urination and possible dehydration. Because this vitamin is water-soluble, daily replacement is necessary. Whole grains are the best source of B1.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

An active agent in the metabolism of energy and cell maintenance. It is also an essential ingredient in the repair of all cells following injury. Milk and eggs are excellent sources of it.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Has numerous responsibilities in diverse bodily functions and is present in every cell of your body. It is very helpful in the reduction of high cholesterol. Peanuts and poultry are fine sources of B3.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Essential in the formation of the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in nerve transmission, memory, and crucial in the metabolism of energy. Poultry, fish and whole grains provide you with ample levels of this vitamin.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Involved in the metabolism of sugar, fat and protein. A limit of 300mg per day will adequate for any athlete. It can be found in foods like wheat germ, fish and walnuts.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Refers to substances containing the mineral cobalt, which is important in the metabolism of protein and fat an aid red blood cell production. Sources include oysters, clams and liver.

Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid)

A coenzyme involved in respiration, protein synthesis and regulation of steroid hormones. Its principal effect is to increase blood and oxygen supplies to tissue. Deficiency states produce no apparent negative effects. B15 is found principally in Brewer’s yeast, organ meat and whole grains.

Folic Acid (Folacin)

Helper substance of the B complex group, especially in red blood cell formation. Five milligrams a day is recommended for athletes.


Helps to metabolize carbohydrates and fats. Best sources are brown rice and soybeans.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

A water soluble vitamin similar to the B complex vitamins. It is involved in various bodily functions and may produce diarrhea and mild diuretic effects in some people. Citrus fruits provide a good source of Vitamin C.

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

A fat soluble vitamin that regulates calcium and phosphate metabolism in your body. This vitamin is actually formed on your skin via ultraviolet rays from light, when they react with cholesterol in your skin. Sunlight serves as the best source of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Another fat-soluble vitamin that has a wide variety of responsibilities. One its main functions is to fight the ravages of free radical damage in your body. Food sources include wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and vegetable oils.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is implicated in proper blood clotting. It is synthesized in the intestinal flora. Because it is fat-soluble, it has the potential for toxicity if taken in large doses.



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