If you’ve been a sluggard at the gym lately, it may be due to your diet. We’re not talking about a singular chocolate chip cookie eaten greedily behind a copse of trees near the gym. We’re talking about B vitamins. If you’ve been doing high-intensity training, there’s a good chance your body could do with a dash of B vitamins. The reason is simple. B vitamins convert carbs to fuel for running, lifting, pouncing, throwing, jumping and dashing, and exercise can deplete them. Low levels of vitamin B can hurt your performance.
If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe science!
For example, van der Beek et al, who depleted 24 healthy men of thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6 over an 11-wk metabolic feeding period found that vitamin depletion significantly decreased maximal work capacity (V̇O2max) by 12%, onset of blood lactate accumulation by 7%, oxygen consumption at onset of blood lactate accumulation by 12%, peak power by 9%, and mean power by 7%.
In that same paper, it was postulated that athletes may need more B vitamins than less active folk, and after a study, their findings indicated that athletes did, in fact, need slightly more riboflavin, B 6 and thiamine. However, it should also be noted that anyone on a diet or people who don’t eat as healthy as they should, could run the risk of being B vitamin insufficient, especially if they combine those behaviors with rigorous exercise. Additionally, it is important to have adequate stocks of B 12 and folate for reasons listed below.
Make no mistake. High-intensity exercise can be good for your health, but it can also increase inflammation and homocysteine levels. Both are risk factors of cardiovascular disease. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that folate/folic acid supplementation reduced homocysteine levels during high-intensity exercise. Folate cannot be stored in the body.
Like all B vitamins, thiamine–old B1—plays a role in metabolism and is a necessary part of the ATP cycle. Thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B 6 levels can diminish due to strenuous physical exertion.
Riboflavin–B 2–metabolizes carbs, lipids and proteins and has antioxidant properties as well.
Vitamin B 6
Vitamin B 6 or pyridoxine as it is uncommonly known cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through the diet. It has been linked to lower homocysteine levels and plays an important role in metabolism.
Vitamin B 12
Cobalamin is especially important for older and vegan athletes. It maintains and produces DNA, nerves and red blood cells. Elderly people often lack B 12 because they produce less stomach acid, and since B 12 is mostly found in animal products, vegans and vegetarians can wind up deficient if they aren’t monitoring their diets.
You’ll find a more than adequate supply of folate in beets like those found in Red Rush and RediBeets.
For B Vitamins, The AIM Companies provides Peak Endurance. Every serving provides 50% of your daily RDA of six B vitamins (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 12), 125 mg of Peak ATP and a smattering of all those electrolytes lost through sweat. It’s a great companion drink and tastes great mixed with Red Rush.