What Vitamins Should I Take to Work Out?

Woman running up stairs
Taking vitamins may help meet nutrient demands before and after your workouts. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Vitamins may help your body adapt to the demands of your workout session more effectively. If you have a vitamin deficiency, it may suppress your workout results and cause more body system impairments than improvements. Taking vitamin supplements may help ensure that your body has the nutrients it needs to support activity during and in-between each workout.

Vitamin A

Senior man holding carrots in garden, mid section
Vitamin A is found in carrots. (Image: RL Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Vitamin A helps your body form and maintain skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. Cardiovascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients to working muscles through your capillaries. Oxygen and nutrient demands increase during your workout. Vitamin A helps improve tissue oxygenation by increasing the permeability of your capillaries. Vitamin A supports healthy bones, and helps your body overcome the effects of bone and joint damage caused by working out, particularly weight lifting . You should take vitamin A to workout, especially if your diet does not include darkly colored leafy greens, brightly colored fruits or dairy foods, according to Medline Plus.

Vitamin B

Pea pods
Peas are rich in Vitamin B. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

B vitamins are co-enzymes that your body uses in proportion to the amount of energy you expend during your workout. These vitamins help your body produce energy from the nutrients you get in your diet. Red blood cell formation also depends on B vitamins. Thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid are among the B vitamins that your body loses during each workout. The B vitamins work closely together so rather than singling one out, you should take a B vitamin complex. A B-complex contains multiple B vitamins, to support your work out, particularly if your diet does not include natural sources of B vitamins, such as animal proteins, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas.

Vitamin C

Close-up of the segment of a grapefruit
Oranges contain Vitamin C. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

You should take vitamin C to workout, particularly if your diet does not include many citrus fruits or leafy green vegetables. Vitamin C supports healthy skin, bones, connective tissues and helps your body absorb iron. Your body needs iron to transport oxygen from your lungs to your muscles while working out; insufficient iron may impair your workout by making your feel weak, according to “NFPT Fitness Nutrition Specialist Manual” by Ron J. Clarke. Vitamin C helps your body adapt to the demands of your workouts by supporting healthy growth and repair processes for tissues damaged during each workout. Vitamin C also helps maintain strong blood vessels, which are essential for delivering nutrients to muscles during your workout.

Vitamin D

Natural sources of vitamin D include fish liver oils, egg yolks and margarine. Your body also manufactures vitamin D when you’re exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D helps maintain healthy bones, and regulates the way your body uses other nutrients. The activity of vitamin A, calcium and phosphorus depend on the availability of vitamin D. You should take vitamin D to workout particularly to get the full effects of vitamin A, and maintain healthy calcium absorption. Insufficient vitamin D intake may also impair muscle nerve functioning and increase your risk of muscle cramps during your workout.

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