Vitamins fall into two main categories: the fat soluble (A, D, E and K) and the water soluble (B and C). The fat soluble vitamins are absorbed into the bloodstream and stored in the liver. They are not required to be replenished on a daily basis. However, those that are water soluble do need to be topped up regularly as the body cannot store them.
Each vitamin serves a vital function within the body and the following table outlines what each one does and gives examples of the foods it is found in. The table also provides information on the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or the guidelines for adequate intake (AI) for an average adult (AI values are marked with *).
|Vitamin||Adult RDA / AI*||Food Sources||Functions|
|Biotin||30* μg/d||Liver and smaller amounts in fruits and meats||Essential in the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in the body.|
|Choline||550* mg/d (males), 425* mg/d (females)||Milk, liver, eggs and peanuts||Assists in prevention of heart disease.|
|Folate (Also known as: Folic acid, Folacin, Pteroylpolyglutamates||400 μg/d||Enriched cereal grains, dark leafy vegetables, enriched and whole-grain breads and bread products, fortified, ready-to-eat cereals||Coenzyme in the metabolism of nucleic and amino acids; prevents megaloblastic anemia; reduces risk of spina bifida in developing babies.|
|Vitamin B3 (Also known as: Niacin)||16 mg/d (males), 14 mg/d (females)||Meat, fish, poultry, enriched and wholegrain breads and bread products, fortified ready-to-eat cereals||Coenzyme or cosubstrate in many biological reduction and oxidation reactions — thus required for energy metabolism|
|Pantothenic Acid||5* mg/d||Chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, cereals, tomato products, liver, kidney, yeast, egg yolk, broccoli, wholegrains||Coenzyme in fatty acid metabolism. Assists with metabolism of protein, carbohydrate and fat and helps maintain healthy skin, hair and immune system.|
|Vitamin B2 (Also known as: Riboflavin)||1.3 mg/d (males), 1.1 mg/d (females)||Organ meats, milk, bread products and fortified cereals||Coenzyme in numerous redox reactions. Releases energy from carbohydrates and helps maintain healthy skin, hair and nervous system.|
|Vitamin B1 (Also known as: Thiamin, Aneurin)||1.2 mg/d (males), 1.1 mg/d (females)||Enriched, fortified, or whole-grain products; bread and bread products, mixed foods whose main ingredient is grain, and ready-to-eat cereals||Coenzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrates and branched chain amino acids. Releases energy from carbohydrates and helps maintain healthy digestive and nervous systems.|
|Vitamin A||900 μg/d (males), 700 μg/d (females)||Liver, dairy products, fish, darkly colored fruits and leafy vegetables||Required for normal vision, gene expression, reproduction, embryonic development, immune function healthy skin and linings of the nose, throat and digestive tract.|
|Vitamin B6 (Also known as: Pyridoxine)||1.3 to 1.7 mg/d (males), 1.3 to 1.5 mg/d (females)||Fortified cereals, organ meats, fortified soy-based meat substitutes||Coenzyme in the metabolism of amino acids, glycogen and fat. Promotes red blood cell manufacture and maintains healthy immune system.|
|Vitamin B12 (Also known as: Cobalamin)||2.4 μg/d||Fortified cereals, meat, fish, poultry||Coenzyme in nucleic acid metabolism; prevents megaloblastic anemia. Assists red blood cell formation and energy metabolism.|
|Vitamin C (Also known as: Ascorbic acid, Dehydroascorbic acid)||90 mg/d (males), 75 mg/d (females)||Tomatoes, tomato juice, potatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries, cabbage and spinach, citrus fruits||Cofactor for reactions requiring reduced copper or iron metalloenzyme and as a protective antioxidant. Maintains healthy bones, teeth, gums, connective tissue, blood vessels. Assists immune function and iron absorption.|
|Vitamin D (Also known as: Calciferol)||5* to 15* μg/d||Fish liver oils, flesh of fatty fish, fortified eggs from hens that have been fed vitamin D, fortified milk products and fortified cereals. Also provided by sunlight.||Maintain serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations. Builds strong bones.|
|Vitamin E||15 mg/d||Vegetable oils, unprocessed cereal grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, meats||A metabolic function has not yet been identified. Vitamin E’s major function appears to be as a nonspecific chainbreaking antioxidant.|
|Vitamin K||120* μg/d (males), 90* μg/d (females)||Green vegetables (collards, spinach, salad greens, broccoli), brussel sprouts, cabbage, plant oils and margarine||Coenzyme during the synthesis of many proteins involved in blood clotting and bone metabolism|
Sources: National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board / USDA
Using plan:one makes sure that you get the vitamins you need to achieve the fastest results from your training program.