Why do athletes take vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is very popular amongst athletes who place heavy demands on their body for high performance. Even a small B-vitamin deficiency can result in reduced performance and recovery. Individual B-vitamin requirements vary and may depend upon the type and intensity of exercise, the amount of nutrients lost through sweat, and urine, and individual differences in diet. Those most at risk for the B-vitamin deficiencies include athletes who are limiting calories or have specialized, consistent or restricted eating plans.

Researchers at Oregon State University, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that athletes who lack B-vitamins have reduced high-intensity exercise performance and are less able to repair damaged muscles or build muscle mass than their peers who eat a diet rich with B-vitamins.

Additionally, the heightened sense of well being that can result from supplementation has been reported anecdotally to contribute to increased motivation and drive which leads to better performance. Athletes that feel good perform better.

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