Healthy Living:The right vitamins for active sports

Anybody who has plan in being involved in sports should know that eating right is what allows the body to adapt to training, and helps one recover after exercise and attain peak performance. For those who can afford, a sports dietitian can assist in developing personalized eating plans to meet the needs of the sport a person is undertaking.Being actively involved in sports does not mean only those that do some sport to earn a living, but even to those who do one sport or the other just as a way to stay in good form. In fact eating right means you are able to delay fatigue; it can allow you to push harder and recover faster. It can give you the edge you need to set a personal record. Without the proper calories, nutrients and fluid, your efforts could be unsuccessful.
Roast Cooked Chicken
Roast Cooked Chicken

Anybody who has plan in being involved in sports should know that eating right is what allows the body to adapt to training, and helps one recover after exercise and attain peak performance. For those who can afford, a sports dietitian can assist in developing personalized eating plans to meet the needs of the sport a person is undertaking.
Being actively involved in sports does not mean only those that do some sport to earn a living, but even to those who do one sport or the other just as a way to stay in good form. In fact eating right means you are able to delay fatigue; it can allow you to push harder and recover faster. It can give you the edge you need to set a personal record. Without the proper calories, nutrients and fluid, your efforts could be unsuccessful.

According to sports nutrition website, these are the roles of vitamins playing in the body;

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine helps breakdown carbohydrates and proteins for energy. Good sources: Whole and enriched grains and fortified cereals

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin is integral to energy production. It also plays a role in red blood cell formation. Good sources: Almonds, milk, yogurt, wheat germ, fortified breads and cereals.

Niacin

Niacin supports both anaerobic and aerobic performance. Too much or too little niacin can shift your body's use of energy from fat to carbohydrates or vice versa; this might affect performance.Good sources: Meat, fish, poultry, peanuts, peanut butter and enriched grain products

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in over 100 metabolic reactions in your body, including the production of energy and hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells.Good sources: Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans whole grains and seeds.

Vitamin B12

Because of its role in red blood cell formation, B12 is crucial for getting oxygen to tissues. B12 is only found in animal products, putting vegan and vegetarian athletes at risk for anemia. Such groups should try to get as much B12 from food as possible. Taking a B12 supplement or eating B12-fortified foods also may be needed.Good sources: Seafood, meats, milk and cheese, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals

Folate

Folate is important for cell production, heart health and protection against birth defects. Females who are active in sports and of childbearing age should include folate in their diet every day. Good sources: Enriched grains, dark leafy greens, whole-grain breads and cereals and citrus fruits

Vitamin C

Perhaps the most famous antioxidant, vitamin C offers a wide-variety of health benefits, including protecting from infection and damage to body cells, helping produce collagen (the connective tissue that holds bones and muscles together), protecting your body from bruising by keeping capillary walls and blood vessels firm; and helping in the absorption of iron and folate.Good sources: citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits and tangerines), strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes

Pantothenic Acid

This vitamin is needed for the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into usable energy. It is found in almost all plant and animal foods. Athletes should aim to meet the adequate intake for pantothenic acid.
Good sources: Poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, avocados and whole grains

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin. Your body can make its own vitamin D with enough sun exposure. Vitamin D is important for bone health; people in weight-sensitive sports such as gymnastics, running or cycling should take care to get enough. A physician may suggest Vitamin D and/or calcium supplements for some athletes.
For any person who is actively involved in any kind of sports, should know that your body needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluid not just to fuel it for exercise, but to keep you out of harm’s way through diseases.

Kudos to our national rugby team (The Silverback) for emerging as the runner’s up in the just concluded Safaricom 7s in Nairobi-Kenya! We are proud of you.

kayitesius@yahoo.com

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