Vitamins for athletes: need and deficit

Витамины для спортсменов Nutrition
Перечень витаминов, на которые стоит обратить внимание бегунам и велосипедистам.

The topic of vitamins in sports is quite controversial, controversial and very broad, so we will have to return to it more than once, as fresh scientific data becomes available.

Vitamins do not provide energy to the body, but they are critical in converting food into energy. Although some studies suggest that high levels of activity in athletes may increase their need for vitamins, there are currently no generally accepted recommendations for the sport. Nevertheless, although vitamins do not improve performance, severe deficiencies can be quite noticeable and seriously affect performance.

Whether or not to take extra vitamins during physical exertion is a separate question. The answer to this question, I firmly believe, can only be given by targeted laboratory tests. However, among the vitamins, there is a group that plays the most important role for runners and cyclists.

Here’s a list of vitamins that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic in Cleveland thinks cyclic athletes should look at, as well as their standard daily intake, according to AND:

Витамин B1 (тиамин)

Thiamine helps convert carbohydrates and proteins into energy. But as we pointed out above, getting more vitamin B1 from the body does not seem to increase performance.

  • Norm: 1.2 mg (men), 1.1 mg (women).
  • Good sources of B1: whole grains and cereals.

Витамин B2 (рибофлавин)

Riboflavin is an essential component in energy production. It also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells.

  • Norm: 1.3 mg (men), 1.1 mg (women).
  • Sources of vitamin B2: almonds, milk and yogurt, wheat germ, bread and cereals.
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Niacin (formerly called vitamin B3 or PP, but these names are now obsolete) supports both anaerobic and aerobic work. The amount of niacin (both deficiency and excess) can indirectly influence performance by changing the balance of energy production between fats and carbohydrates. But this question requires more research.

  • Norm: 16 mg (men), 14 mg (women).
  • Good sources of niacin: Meat, fish, poultry, peanuts, peanut butter, and grain products.

Витамин B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 metabolic reactions in the body, including the production of hemoglobin and red blood cell protein. A B6 intake below the norm can markedly reduce an athlete’s performance.

  • Norm: 1.3 mg for both sexes at age 31-50 years; 1.7 mg for men age 51 and over; 1.5 mg for women age 51 and over.
  • Sources of vitamin B6: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, cereals, oysters.

Витамин B12.

Because of its role in the formation of red blood cells, B12 is crucial for oxygen delivery to tissues. B12 is only found in animal products. Vegetarian athletes are therefore thought to be at risk for developing anemia. Without meat products, B12 deficiency is virtually guaranteed, so vegans cannot do without third-party supplements.

  • Norm: 2.4 µg.
  • Good sources of B12: seafood, meat, milk and cheese, eggs.

Фолат (B9).

Folate is important for cell production and heart health. Researchers believe that all athletic men and women of childbearing age should include folate in their diet every day.

  • Norm: 400 µg.
  • Sources of vitamin B9: Cereals, leafy greens, bread, cereals and citrus fruits.
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Витамин С

The most well-known antioxidant, vitamin C offers a wide range of health benefits. Including protection against infection (today this point requires more research) and damage to body cells. It helps produce collagen (connective tissue), protecting the body from bruising, strengthening capillary walls and blood vessels, and helping with iron and folic acid absorption.

  • Norm: 90 mg (men), 75 mg (women).
  • Good sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines), strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and potatoes.

Пантотеновая кислота (B5)

This vitamin is essential for the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is found in almost all plant and animal foods.

  • Norm: 5 mg.
  • Sources of vitamin B5: poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, avocados, and whole grains.

Biotin (B7).

Biotin participates in carbohydrate metabolism by interacting with insulin. In addition, biotin works in the production of glucokinase for glucose capture and utilization.

  • Norm: 30 mcg.
  • Good sources of biotin: nuts, eggs, soy, and fish.

Витамин D.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin. The body itself is able to synthesize it with enough sunlight. The vitamin is important for bone health, so runners should get enough of it. You can take vitamin D extra with food if you live in St. Petersburg, or you can go to sunny countries more often.

  • Norm: 600IU (ME) (1-70 years), 800IU (ME) (71 years and older).
  • Sources of vitamin D: milk and cereals, fish oil, seafood and eggs.

It is important to note that according to some studies published in NCBI, many triathletes who took the popular vitamins C and E supplements were not actually needed, and there were no signs of vitamin deficiencies.

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Another interesting point is that only 1 person out of 37 athletes was taking vitamins based on the doctor’s orders based on the laboratory tests he had received.

Витаминные комплексы

I hope it is clear that vitamins for the body should be obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits and natural foods. If running training does not exceed the amateur level, then taking vitamin complexes is absolutely unnecessary.

Once you ramp up your workouts, especially in the off-season, it’s important to nourish your body to speed up your results. There are many domestic vitamin kits available, but I suggest looking at foreign sports vitamin complexes.

Sports Vitamins for Men:

  • Optimum Nutrition, Opti-Men ($19 for 90 pieces, Made in U.S.A., highest number of good reviews)
  • Universal Nutrition, Animal Pak ($29 for 30 pieces, Made in U.S.A., contains vitamin, amino acid, antioxidant and enzyme complex)

Sports vitamins for women:

  • Optimum Nutrition, Opti-Woman ($11 for 60 pieces, for women, considered one of the best)
  • FEMME, Vitafemme ($11 for 21 pieces, course 21 days, multivitamins + Omega-3 + Probiotics)

Remember that each athlete is suitable for his multivitamins, so it is better to try vitamins from different manufacturers, buying them in small batches. The effect of multivitamins suitable for you you will feel in the second month of taking them.

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