5 Best Vitamins for Athletes’ Performance
As an athlete, you already know the importance of including plenty of protein and carbohydrates in your diet. However, it is equally essential to ensure you are consuming enough vitamins and minerals. Among other functions, these assist you in turning food into energy and improve the efficiency of your muscles.
It is extra critical to eat a sufficient amount of each vitamin, as you’ll be losing some nutrients through sweat. At a minimum, you should be consuming all the best vitamins for athletes.
1. B Vitamins
The B-complex family of vitamins enables your body to turn protein and sugars into energy. Each of the vitamins also serves other purposes. All the B vitamins are critical for athletes using high-intensity training, as they provide you with access to the extra burst of energy you need.
Vitamins of the B complex are:
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin) — This vitamin also plays a role in red blood cell production.
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B6 — This vitamin is necessary for more than 100 metabolic reactions, including the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. Insufficient B6 leads to poor performance.
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folate)
- B12 — Another vitamin linked to red blood cells, B12 brings oxygen to tissues.
Find the B vitamins in foods like almonds, grains, milk, yogurt, beans, fish, meat, eggs, peanuts, lentils, seeds, leafy greens, cheese, citrus fruits, and soybeans.
By increasing bone density, calcium lowers your risk of suffering from a stress fracture. In addition to milk, calcium is present in cereals, beans, and leafy greens.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best-known vitamins — for its numerous benefits. As well as staving off infections, vitamin C helps your body produce collagen to hold bones and muscles together, offers protection against bruises, and assists in the absorption of iron and vitamin B9. It can also prevent shortness of breath in those with exercise-induced asthma.
Gain vitamin C from citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, potatoes, kale, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Iron is key for long-term athletic development, especially for endurance athletes. This is because iron enables red blood cells to bring oxygen to muscles. As you exercise, your body requires more iron. Should you deplete your iron reserves, you will suffer fatigue and be unable to train to your full abilities.
Increase your iron intake by eating more spinach, eggs, broccoli, cereal, and beef.
If you have ever suffered from cramps after exercising, you may be lacking potassium. This mineral combines with sodium to improve the function of your muscles and nerves, balancing water content in your body and speeding up recovery.
Eat a potassium-rich snack after a long workout by choosing something that contains bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, or tuna.
Make sure that you are consuming at least the recommended minimum of all the best vitamins for athletes. You will notice changes in how you feel and in your performance, both immediately and over the long term.