B Vitamins
in Your Sports Nutrition Plan

B Vitamins are a powerhouse in sports nutrition, working behind the scenes to process the energy you eat from carbohydrate, fat and protein.

  • B Vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, B-6)
  • Function: The B-Vitamins Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, and B-6 are nutrients that help you get the energy out of carbs, fat and protein so you can move. There is little support that supplementation beyond the RDI will improve exercise performance, but an inadequate intake could lessen performance.
    Food Sources: Whole grains, fortified gains, meat proteins and milk.

    Thiamin: RDA 1.1 mg (milligrams): No UL. Riboflavin: RDA: 1.1 mg (milligrams); No UL. Niacin: RDA: 14 mg (milligrams); UL = 35 mg B-6: RDA: 1.3 mg (milligrams); UL = 100 mg

  • Folic Acid (Folate)
  • Function: Folic Acid (also called folate) is used in making new cells, including red blood cells that carry oxygen. There may also be some long term heart-related benefits of folic acid.
    Food sources: Leafy green vegetables, orange juice, fortified grains and beans.
    RDA: 400 mcg (micrograms); UL = 1000 mcg

  • Vitamin B-12
  • Function: B-12 is used for nerve function and in making red blood cells. Most women have enough B-12 stored to cover their needs for a few years.
    Food sources: Only found in meat proteins, milk and certain fortified soy products or fortified grains.
    RDA: 2.4 mcg (micrograms); No UL.

    Strict vegetarians and women who’ve had gastric bypass surgery could be at risk for B-12 deficiency and may need supplementation. There is no support that B-12 supplementation for other women athletes will improve exercise performance.

    Learn more about B Vitamins in whole foods.

    B Vitamins should be an important part of your sports nutrition goals.