Beyond Protein – The Importance of B Vitamins
25th July 2018
Although protein is crucial in helping to build and maintain healthy muscle, protein alone isn’t going to get you to your fitness goals or across the finish line. Our bodies need a wide range of vitamins, mineral and other nutrients to be at its best. Nutritionist Sarah Keogh explains how B vitamins help you maintain a healthy body and healthy mind.
B vitamins are an important family of nutrients when it comes to metabolism. B vitamins contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism, which means that they help us to release energy from food. B vitamins also contribute to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue: something anyone – and not just athletes – could use. These are some of the reasons we add B vitamins to Fulfil bars.
But the benefits of B vitamins go beyond just producing energy: your crash course in B vitamins starts now!
Vitamin B1 aka Thiamin
Apart from helping you to release energy from food, Thiamin helps towards the normal function of your heart and your immune system and keeps your nerves healthy. Find it in wholegrains, beans, pork and fish.
Vitamin B2 aka Riboflavin
As well as helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue, Riboflavin is involved in maintaining normal, healthy skin as well as normal vision and red blood cells. Almonds, milk and yoghurt are all good sources.
Vitamin B3 aka Niacin
Along with many other B vitamins, Niacin helps release energy from food but it also has an important role in maintaining your psychological function. And any athlete will tell you that your mental game is what gets you through the tough times as much as your physical efforts. Look for Niacin in mushrooms, cheese, chicken, pumpkin seeds and wholegrains.
Vitamin B5 aka Pantothenic acid
Apart from reducing fatigue, B5 also contributes to normal mental performance. Find pantothenic acid in hazelnuts, eggs, salmon and pork.
Vitamin B6 is an interesting vitamin as it is needed for normal protein and glycogen metabolism. Glycogen is the fuel used by your muscles when you exercise. Along with Niacin, Vitamin B6 also contributes to normal psychological function but it is most famous for being involved in the normal function of your nervous system. Bananas, beef, eggs and avocado and all good sources of B6.
Vitamin B12 is needed to help make normal, healthy red blood cells. Your red blood cells carry oxygen around your body, bringing it to working muscles during training and at rest. B12 is also essential for your immune system. Find B12 in chicken, turkey, tuna and salmon as well as foods that have been fortified with B12 like fortified breakfast cereals and some protein bars.
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