Most Important Vitamins for Cyclists

Most Important Vitamins for Cyclists
While we should all strive to be healthy, active members of society, athletes must take even more care to manage and monitor their bodies. Cyclists are endurance athletes, and their bodies not only need a steady supply of nutritious foods and water, they need supplements that sometimes are neglected. These vitamins build strength and endurance but also contribute to efficient body processes, which in turn enhance output.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is common and found in a variety of different foods and drinks. In addition to orange juice and citrus, other fruits and vegetables contain good amounts of Vitamin C, including tomatoes and bananas. It's important to keep your Vitamin C levels up, either through food consumption or supplements. A popular brand of vitamin C supplement is Emergen-C, a powder that can be mixed into a beverage either hot or cold. Vitamin C is essential in the removal of "free radicals," which are harmful, mobile particles that can damage your cells. Vitamin C also helps build collagen, the building block for tendons and arteries.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is especially helpful for cyclists because tit breaks down many different varieties of proteins and enhances your body's ability to carry and transport red blood cells (and vital oxygen) to your starved muscles. Vitamin B6 can be found in pill form and taken as a regular supplement with food--make sure to read the directions carefully. You can also get a healthy dose of B6 by eating bananas. B6 is also helps to build and release serotonin. This contributes to the creation of "runner's (or cyclist's) high."

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex, which includes vitamins B, B12, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 and B9, is essential for athletes. These vitamins help to convert your food into the energy source (glucose) quickly and efficiently. They are especially helpful during a race when your body needs its energy immediately. B complex vitamins also help foster the growth of red blood cells--if your count is low, B vitamins will improve the speed with which they're created, giving your body more tools to bring oxygen to your depleted muscles.

Article Written By Duncan Jenkins

Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.

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