Nutrients in all their forms are necessary to obtain healthy results, not just in everyday life, but especially during fitness programs where you are taxing your system. Vitamins, in particular, regulate metabolism, produce enzymes that assist with cellular growth and protection, and are used in energy-releasing biochemical processes that break down foods into usable fuel. If you know what each vitamin is responsible for then you can better create and form a micronutrient diet that meets your specific needs during your fitness program. Following is a list of the vitamins and how they aid your health.
List of Vitamins & Their Benefits (in alphabetical order)
Vitamin A – This is an essential vitamin that aids in the formation of bones and teeth. Vitamin A is used in fat storage, helps fight infections in mucous membranes and the lungs, kidneys and bladder. It stimulates the growth of new cells and works as an antioxidant to protect them from disease. Vitamin A also assists in protein absorption and has even been shown to slow the aging process.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Thiamine benefits the function of the brain and increases blood circulation and formation. It helps with proper digestion and the metabolic transformation of carbohydrates. Thiamine is also an antioxidant which reduces aging and the effects of smoking and alcohol. Take thiamine for appetite, energy and mental clarity.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Riboflavin is used for regular cell growth as well as the proper formation of red blood cells. It is also a key element for the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and assists vitamin A with maintaining digestive tract mucous membranes. Riboflavin stimulates healthy oxygen consumption in skin, hair and nail tissue and aids the body with vitamin B6 and iron absorption.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Niacinamide, Nicotonic Acid) – Vitamin B3 helps to improve blood circulation, maintain healthy skin and lower cholesterol. It aids in the proper metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, helps with hydrochloric acid production and ensures healthy nervous system function.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Vitamin B5 combats stress, assists with the production of adrenal hormones and helps form antibodies. It also aids the body to properly utilize other vitamins as well as to convert proteins, fats and carbohydrates into usable energy.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – B6 is a big player in the normal function of both mental and physical health. It also helps the body to absorb protein and fat and aids with hydrochloric acid production. Vitamin B6 stimulates the formation of red blood cells and helps maintain balanced potassium and sodium levels. Pyridoxine is used to activate a variety of enzymes, help with vitamin B12 absorption and maintain the proper function of antibody production and the immune system. B6 has been found to help prevent arteriosclerosis and certain types of cancer.
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin) – Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy growth and protection of the nervous system. When larger quantities are taken with age, it helps prevent cellular deterioration. Studies have also revealed that some neurological diseases are reversed by taking methylcobalamin.
Bioflavnoids – Sometimes referred to as vitamin P, bioflavnoids help with vitamin C absorption (and should be taken with vitamin C), stimulate healthy blood circulation and reduce pain. Bioflavnoids are not produced by the human body and, therefore, must be obtained through a healthy diet.
Biotin – Biotin promotes healthy cellular growth and formation in bone marrow, sweat glands and nerve tissue. It also helps with the proper conversion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and stimulates the production of fatty acids.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is workhorse vitamin because it assists with over 300 metabolic functions. Some of the most important are: aids with anti-stress hormone production, protects against free radical damage, helps prevent infection and cancer, increases iron absorption and boosts the immune system.
Choline – Choline is a key element in aiding healthy nerve impulse transmission between the brain and central nervous system. It also helps increase hormone production and decreases fats in the liver.
Coenzyme Q10 – This vitamin-like element acts much like vitamin E in that it stimulates the production of energy at the cellular level. It also benefits the immune system, increases blood circulation and helps combat aging by increasing the oxygen supply to body tissues.
Vitamin D – The body uses vitamin D to help with the absorption of phosphorus and calcium. It ensures the proper development and growth of teeth and bones, helps to regulate a proper heartbeat and thyroid function, increases immunity and fights against muscle weakness. Vitamin D is also used to combat certain health problems such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypocalcemia, and colon and breast cancer.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps the body absorb and utilize vitamin A. It is also an important antioxidant which maximizes the oxygenation and prevents the destruction of cells.
Folate – Folate is essential for maintaining healthy brain function. It also helps form healthy red blood cells and assists white blood cells in boosting the body’s immunity. Folate maximizes energy production and helps the body metabolize proteins.
Inositol – Inositol is essential for healthy hair growth. It also helps to reduce bad cholesterol, metabolize fat and form lecithin. Inositol supplies a calming effect and is used to treat depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Vitamin K – This vitamin is necessary to product prothrombin which plays a key role in the proper clotting of blood. Vitamin K stimulates bone growth and repair by helping to synthesize osteocalcin, the bone tissue protein to which calcium attaches and crystallizes. It also works to convert glucose to glycogen and maintain healthy intestinal function.
Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) – This antioxidant aids in the reduction of ultraviolet-B radiation absorption which reduces sunburn. PABA is also assists other enzymes to breakdown protein and aids in proper red blood cell formation.