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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How Vitamins Affect Workout Performance

Vitamins and Workout Performance

This article from Science Daily articulates why a proper diet is essential for athletes to perform at their best.

Active individuals lacking in B-vitamins -- including college athletes and other elite competitors -- may perform worse during high-intensity exercise and have a decreased ability to repair and build muscle than counterparts with nutrient-rich diets, according to recent Oregon State University research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

The B-vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, B-12 and folate. These micronutrients are necessary during the body's process for converting proteins and sugars into energy, and are used during the production and repair of cells, including red blood cells.

Here's the kicker...fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of the B-vitamins, while grains deplete B-vitamins. Considering the high carb, high grain diet of most Americans, B-vitamin deficiencies are a very real deal. This evidence (which thinking nutritional folks already knew) reinforces the need for a nutrient-dense diet consisting of meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit and starch, and no sugar. Sugar is another "food" that depletes b-vitamins. A Paleo-style diet is the way to go.