15 Push Ups
20 Squats with weight (50 pound child)
20 Calf raises with weight (50 pounds child)
Today was supposed to be Pilates and a Hike...but life won. Yesterday M2 came home sick from school with a stomach bug...today we are doing farm chores (like trimming fruit trees) and trying to get in a little workout.
The B Vitamins are group of water soluble vitamins. Although they are all chemically different, they all work in some way with metabolic processes. In addition, they are often found together in food, and work in conjunction in the body. Thus, they are classified as the same family of vitamins.
But what does that mean for athletes, and why would someone focused on training need them?
To explain this, I want to break down each B Vitamin and describe their individual actions, as well as their co-actions.
B1 - Thiamine
Thiamine is a coenzyme that is necessary for the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins into their simpler forms (sugars, and amino acids) which are used in cellular energy production. It is also essential for brain function, as glucose is the primary user of glucose in the body.
Athletes can be at a higher risk of Thiamine deficiency because of their high need of phosphates (electrolytes), and protein. In order to properly absorb Thiamine in the intestines, phosphate and protein is required.
Others who may be at a higher risk of deficiency are alcoholics, and those with folate deficiencies (MTHFR genetic mutations).
Deficiency symptoms include: Rapid Weight Loss, Beriberi, Poor Appetite, Colitis, Chronic Diarrhea, Depression, Fatigue, Muscle Weakness, Poor Memory, Confusion, Irritability, Nerve Inflammation, in extreme cases Psychosis and Death.
Food Sources of B1: Nuts and Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds), Legumes (Peas, Navy Beans, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Lima Beans, Lentils), Grains (Oats, Barley), Green Vegetables (Asparagus, Beet greens, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach) Sweet Potatoes
B2 - Riboflavin
Riboflavin is a precursor to many different enzymes that affect the absorption and functioning of other vitamins and nutrients (B3, B6, B9, Branched Chain Amino Acids, Fats, Vitamin A, Iron, and Glutathione). Similar to Thiamine's function of breaking down carbohydrates and proteins, Riboflavin is needed to break down dietary fats into simpler forms used for energy production in the cells.
Riboflavin needs Pantothenic Acid for proper absorption. Riboflavin deficiency is commonly seen in Vegan Female athletes, as their demand for B Vitamins is higher than men (due to menstruation).
Riboflavin deficiency symptoms include: Stomach Inflammation, Red Cracking of the Corners of the Mouth, Red and and Painful Tongue, Blurred Vision, Watery Eyes, Red Eyes, Migraines, Oily Scaly Skin, and Anemia
Food Sources of B2: Fermented Soy (Tempeh, Miso, Tofu), Cultured Dairy (Yogurt, Kefir), Eggs, Turkey, Fish (Sardines, Tuna), Mushrooms, Green Vegetables (Spinach, Beet Greens, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts)
B3 - Niacin
Niacin is a cofactor for several chemicals necessary for cellular energy production. It is also necessary for repairing injured cells.
Athletes have a higher demand for Niacin, especially those who perform more weight bearing and muscle building based exercises. Niacin is necessary for healing and rebuilding injured muscle cells. Niacin, along with other B vitamins, are lost during heavy sweating as well.
Niacin can be converted from the amino acid Tryptophan in the diet, but only if there is adequate B6.
Niacin deficiency symptoms include: Nausea, Migraines, Fatigue, Mouth Sores, Skin Sores, in extreme symptoms Pellegra.
Food Sources of B3: Brewer's Yeast, Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Sardines) Shrimp, Turkey, Red Meat (Beef, Lamb, Game), Peanuts, Grains (Brown Rice, Barley), Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Sunflower Seeds, Mushrooms
B5 - Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic Acid is the precursor to CoEnzyme A, and Acetylcholine. It is also required for the metabolism and absorption of Riboflavin(B2). CoEnzyme A is vital for the metabolism of Fat, Cholesterol and Choline. Pantothenic Acid also regulates insulin production.
Coenzyme A is considered one of the most important chemicals for sustaining life. It is the center chemical for cellular energy production. It is also responsible for our body's synthesis of fatty acids.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the brain. It's main purpose is to control motor neurons, or the nerves that control muscles. (seems awfully important for athletes)
Pantothenic Acid deficiency symptoms include: Insulin Sensitivity, Hypoglycemia, Fatigue, Irritability, Apathy, Restlessness, Muscle Cramps, and Muscle Weakness
Food Sources of B5: Mushrooms, Avocado, Sweet Potatoes, Red Meat, Eggs, Turkey, Chicken, Salmon, Shrimp, Legumes (Lentils, Peas) Grains (Rye, Wheat, Corn)
B6 - Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine is a coenzyme that 100's of different enzymatic processes in the body. Some of these are part of the metabolism of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats for cellular energy. It pulls glycogen (stored carbohydrates) out of storage for cellular use. Pyridoxine is responsible for the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain: Serotonin, Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, and GABA. It is also necessary for the metabolism of Selenium (trace mineral). It is also part of the process that forms red blood cells (along with Folate and B12). It binds to Hemoglobin to increase it's ability to hold oxygen.
B12 is needed for the absorption of Pyridoxine.
Pyridoxine deficiency symptoms include: PMS, Irritability, Depression, Anxiety, Confusion, ADD/ADHD Anemia, Muscle Cramps, Migraines
Food Sources of B6: Fish (Tuna, Salmon), Liver, Red Meat, Chicken, Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Green Vegetables (Spinach, Cabbage, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts), Bell Peppers, Garlic, Bananas
B7 - Biotin
Biotin is a coenzyme for the metabolism of fats and for gluconeogenesis (the process of obtaining glucose from non sugar sources, such as amino acids.) It regulates the production of insulin, and balances blood sugar levels. It is also a part of cellular regrowth.
Biotin deficiency is more common in athletes, as their demand for cellular growth and building is higher, as is there demand for cellular energy metabolism and insulin function. There is also a genetic mutation that can cause a decreased B7 absorption in some people.
Biotin deficiency symptoms include: Brittle Hair and Nails, Hair Loss, Scaly Skin, Inflamed Mucous Membranes, Impaired Immune Functions, and Susceptibility to Bacterial and Fungal Infections.
Food Sources of B7: Tomatoes, Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Walnuts), Peanuts, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Oats, Eggs, Cultured Dairy (Yogurt, Kefir), Bananas
B9 - Folate
Folate (not Folic Acid, which is the synthetic version and can cause issues), is the precursor to methylation, cell division and growth, and red blood cell production. Methylation is more than just detoxification (of heavy metals, used estrogen, and other body byproducts), it is also necessary for gene expression and proper amino acid function.
Your body cannot make Folate, and it MUST be consumed in the diet. There is a genetic mutation, MTHFR, that inhibits the body's ability to properly use Folate. Folate deficiency is becoming exceptionally common, especially in woman. You may also be at a higher risk of Folate deficiency if you have Chrohn's Disease or Celiac Disease, taker certain medications, have the MTHFR gene mutation, or have a history of alcoholism.
There is a complex interaction between Folate, B12 and Iron. Which are all needed for proper red blood cell health and oxygenation. B12 deficiency can lead to a deficiency in both Iron and Folate, as B12 is necessary for proper absorption of Folate in the intestines.
Folate deficiency symptoms include: Anemia, Red Sore Tongue, Diarrhea, Depression, Confusion, Infertility, Menstruation Irregularities, Early Grey Hair, Fatigue
Food Sources of B9: Liver, Legumes (Lentils, Garbanzo Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Navy Beans, Peas), Green Vegetables (Spinach, Asparagus, Turnip Greens, Broccoli, Beet Greens, Romaine Lettuce, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts), Beets, Nuts and Seeds (Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds), Avocado, Fruit (Oranges, Papaya, Cantaloupe
B12 - Cobalamin
Cobalamin is a coenzyme for the formation of myelin sheaths, neurotransmitter, and affects overall nerve health. It is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells, and the metabolism of fats, proteins and all other B vitamins, including itself. Along with Folate, it works in the methylation processes.
Like Folate, cobalamin must be consumed in the diet, as the body does not produce it on its own. Those at risk for B12 deficiency are those with digestive diseases (Chrohn's, Celiac, Autoimmune, Food Allergies), those with MTHFR, taking certain medications, and poor dietary habits. Cobalamin deficiency is very common, especially in women, and in those who eat a vegetarian and vegan diet.
Cobalamin deficiency symptoms include: Anemia, Headaches, Pale Skin, Numbness and Tingling in the Extremities, Depression, Anxiety, Heart Palpitations, Insomnia, Fatigue, Menstrual Irregularities (Heavy, Clotted and Painful Periods), Fertility Issues.
Food Sources of B12: Organ Meat (Liver, Heart, Kidneys), Red Meat (Beef, Lamb, Game), Eggs, Full Fat Dairy, Fish (Sardines, Tuna, Salmon Cod), Shellfish (Shrimp, Scallops), Cultured Foods (Sauerkraut, Kim Chi, Kombucha)
B Vitamins for Athletes
Just from reading the above highlights, I am sure you can see why eating enough B vitamins would be crucial for athletes. B vitamins are water soluble, meaning you must consume them everyday as they are not stored in the body (except for B6, which has some storage in the Liver).
Athletes need more red cell production for oxygenation purposes. For a not active person, red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days. In those who train intensely, especially women, the rate of red blood cell aging increases. Athletes can also get what is called "sports anemia" where the plasma levels increase and the ratio of plasma to red blood cells is unbalanced. The formation of more red blood cells to correct the ratio imbalance is a must, and requires several different B Vitamins.
Many of the B Vitamins are necessary for the Kreb's Cycle (more tomorrow), the cellular process of turning macronutrients into cellular energy. As the demand for cellular energy is increased in those who are more athletic, the demand for B Vitamins also increases.
The brain and nerves control the motor functions of our muscles. Because of the importance of B vitamins in the formation and function of health nerves and brain, and the demand on these nerves for signalling muscle contractions, the demand for B vitamins in athletes is increased.
Lastly, heavy training damages tissue, especially muscle tissue, with goal of rebuilding this tissue stronger. In order for this process to work, we need B vitamins.
Breakfast: Ham, Egg, Cheese and Arugula Breakfast Sandwich; Honeydew Melon; Coffee
I am sure by now you have realized how important green vegetables are to the diet of, really anyone, but especially those who are increased they exercise regimens. They contain electrolytes, B Vitamins, and so much more.
My goal is to have something GREEN at each meal...sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I do not, but if I make that my goal, than I know that I am getting in at least a meal a day, and that is pretty good.
Lunch: Tempeh REUBEN; Iced Tea
I seriously love tempeh, and I think you will too. This reuben is full of B12!!! Between the fermented Tempeh, and the fermented sauerkraut, to the cultured beets. All on some sprouted Rye bread.
Dinner: TERIYAKI Salmon, Brown Rice, Steamed Green Beans
We honestly don't eat fish too often, but this is our favorite way.
Total Water Today: 10 cups
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 1: Intro
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 2: Electrolytes
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 3: Trace Minerals
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 4: Hydration
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 5: Hyaluronic Acid
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 6: Coenzyme Q10
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 7: Top 10
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 8: B Vitamins
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 9: Kreb's Cycle
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 10: Calories
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 11
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 12
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Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 30