Staying on top of your nutrition plan is important, like making sure you're getting enough of the key vitamins and minerals to fuel your swim workouts and subsequent recovery. Vitamin B12, magnesium, and iron, and just a few of the nutrients that are important for swimmers, and are also found in our Nutriboost protein shake.
Vitamin B12 is important for swimmers and athletes because it helps with important biological processes like protein synthesis, muscle tissue repair, and the production of healthy blood cells. So let's find out more about where this vitamin comes from and how it works with other nutrients in your body to maximize your health and well-being.
What is B12?
B12 is a vitamin that our body uses to form red blood cells, facilitate protein metabolism, and maintain the key functions of the central nervous system. It's made by anaerobic microorganisms, which are bacteria that do not require oxygen to live, and are commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of animals.
How do I get B12?
The best way to get B12 in your system is through animal-based proteins. Good choices are meat, poultry, clams, eggs, sardines, salmon, and beef livers. After you've ingested your food sources of this nutrient, the B12 is absorbed by your gastrointestinal tract. Including these in your diet is preferable to using a supplement, but if you're eating a plant-based diet, chances are you are B12 deficient.
Are dietary sources enough?
If you're in superb health and eating a well-balanced diet that includes animal proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and the right fluids, chances are you won't need to supplement to get the recommended intake of Vitamin B12.
But if you have any issues with your gastrointestinal system that might compromise absorption of this key vitamin, then you might need to supplement your diet. People with celiac or Crohn's disease should consider taking a supplement. Additionally, swimmers over 50 years old should consider taking a supplement since atrophic gastritis, the case when your body stops producing stomach acid, becomes much more common in this age range. Use our Nutriboost shake to get high quality Vitamin B12 in your diet and avoid the symptoms of a deficiency, which include memory loss, poor balance, tingling in hands and/or feet, or depression.
Ultimately, your nutrition and swimming performance are in your hands, so make sure that you're getting enough of this key vitamin, as well as other nutrients. For more articles on nutrition for swimmers, subscribe to our P2Life blog today!