The Truth About Vitamin-B Supplements and Athletes

Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is a key component of athletic success. This leads athletes to often question whether or not they should take a supplement and if it could enhance their performance.

B vitamins (see chart below) are of particular interest to athletes because they play a role in many metabolic processes that are directly related to exercise performance, including energy production, red-blood-cell formation and muscle building/repair.

Most notably, B vitamins—especially thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6—are used to convert the foods we eat into energy our bodies can use during exercise. Folate and vitamin B12, for example, are required for the synthesis of red blood cells and the repair of damaged muscle cells. Therefore, adequate intake of the B vitamins is important to ensure optimum energy production and recovery.

More: Vitamin-Rich Juices and Smoothies

  • 1
  • of
  • 3
NEXT

About the Author

Emily Brown

Emily is a former professional runner and the 2009 U.S. cross country champion. She formerly trained with Team USA Minnesota, and is currently the resident nutritionist for RunnersConnect.net. Find her on Facebook.

Emily is a former professional runner and the 2009 U.S. cross country champion. She formerly trained with Team USA Minnesota, and is currently the resident nutritionist for RunnersConnect.net. Find her on Facebook.

Discuss This Article