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Melinda M. Manore

This paper presents an overview of vitamin B6 and exercise, including the role that vitamin B6 plays in gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis and changes in vitamin B6 metabolism during exercise. The dietary vitamin B6 intakes of athletes are also reviewed. Most studies report that male athletes have adequate dietary intakes of vitamin B6, whereas some females, especially those with low energy intakes, appear to have low vitamin B6 intakes. Few studies have assessed the vitamin B6 status of nonsupplementing athletes using the recommended status criteria. The role that vitamin B6 may play in attenuating the rise in plasma growth hormone observed during exercise is also reviewed. Finally, recomrnendations are given for further research in the area of vitamin B6 and exercise.

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Lothar Rokitzki, Andree N. Sagredos, Friedrich Reuß, Michael Büchner, and Josef Keul

The vitamin B6 status of 13 endurance athletes was determined by whole blood B6 (microbiological) and urine 4-pyridoxic acid (4-PA) (HPLC), serum vitamin B6 (pyridoxal, pyridoxol, pyridoxamin) (HPLC), and erythrocyte α- EGOT measurements with the aid of 7-day records. In addition, blood and serum samples and urine were collected before (Time A), directly after (Time B), and 2 hr after a marathon race (Time C). The total energy intake was 12,303 ± 3,464 Wday (34% fat, 48% carbohydrates, 14% protein). The vitamin B6 intake, serum concentrations, α-EGOT value, and 4-PA excretion were higher than the reference values at Time A. Only the vitamin B6 whole blood levels were below the normal level at Time A. The vitamin B, status of the athletes corresponded essentially to reference values obtained for untrained individuals. There was a mean loss of about 1 mg vitamin B6 as a result of the marathon race. Vitamin B6 supplementation does not appear necessary if a balanced diet is consumed.

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Kathleen Woolf and Melinda M. Manore

The B-vitamins (thiamin, ribofavin, vitamin B-6) are necessary in the energy-producing pathways of the body, while folate and vitamin B-12 are required for the synthesis of new cells, such as the red blood cells, and for the repair of damaged cells. Active individuals with poor or marginal nutritional status for a B-vitamin may have decreased ability to perform exercise at high intensities. This review focuses on the B-vitamins and their role in energy metabolism and cell regeneration. For each vitamin, function related to physical activity, requirement, and status measures are given. Research examining dietary intakes and nutritional status in active individuals is also presented. Current research suggests that exercise may increase the requirements for ribofavin and vitamin B-6, while data for folate and vitamin B-12 are limited. Athletes who have poor diets, especially those restricting energy intakes or eliminating food groups from the diet, should consider supplementing with a multivitamin/mineral supplement.

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Emily M. Haymes

Muscle glycogen is the primary source of energy during high intensity exercise. Increasing the carbohydrate content of the diet allows more glycogen to be stored. Some adolescent female athletes (gymnasts, dancers) do not consume adequate amounts of vitamin B6, folacin, and E. Many women have low dietary intakes of calcium and iron. Low calcium intake and physical inactivity are factors associated with the development of osteoporosis. Low iron intake is associated with the development of iron deficiency and anemia. Low ferritin levels (an index of body iron stores) are commonly observed in female athletes.

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Robert A. Niekamp and Janine T. Baer

The purpose of this study was to determine the dietary adequacy of 12 collegiate cross-country runners during a competitive season. Four-day diet records were collected twice during the season and analyzed for total daily energy, macronutrients, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Mean energy intake (3,248 ± 590 kcal) was not significantly different from estimated mean energy expenditure (3,439 ± 244 kcal). Week 8 mean prealbumin levels were within normal limits (26.8 ± 2.8 mg/dl). Mean daily CHO intake was 497 ± 134 g/day (61.2%). Three to four hours prior to competition a pre-race meal was consumed; it contained 82 ± 47 g CHO. Posteompetition CHO intake was delayed an average 2.5 hr; at that time approximately 2.6 ± 0.69 g CHO/kg body weight was consumed. The athletes appeared to demonstrate dietary adequacy with the exception of timing of posteompetition carbohydrate consumption.

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Heidi L. Petersen, C. Ted Peterson, Manju B. Reddy, Kathy B. Hanson, James H. Swain, Rick L. Sharp, and D. Lee Alekel

This study determined the effect of training on body composition, dietary intake, and iron status of eumenorrheic female collegiate swimmers (n = 18) and divers (n = 6) preseason and after 16 wk of training. Athletes trained on dryland (resistance, strength, fexibility) 3 d/wk, 1.5 h/d and in-water 6 d/wk, nine, 2-h sessions per week (6400 to 10,000 kJ/d). Body-mass index (kg/m2; P = 0.05), waist and hip circumferences (P ≤ 0.0001), whole body fat mass (P = 0.0002), and percentage body fat (P ≤ 0.0001) decreased, whereas lean mass increased (P = 0.028). Using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, we found no change in regional lean mass, but fat decreased at the waist (P = 0.0002), hip (P = 0.0002), and thigh (P = 0.002). Energy intake (10,061 ± 3617 kJ/d) did not change, but dietary quality improved with training, as refected by increased intakes of fber (P = 0.036), iron (P = 0.015), vitamin C (P = 0.029), vitamin B-6 (P = 0.032), and fruit (P = 0.003). Iron status improved as refected by slight increases in hemoglobin (P = 0.046) and hematocrit (P = 0.014) and decreases in serum transferrin receptor (P ≤ 0.0001). Studies are needed to further evaluate body composition and iron status in relation to dietary intake in female swimmers.

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John L. Ivy, Lynne Kammer, Zhenping Ding, Bei Wang, Jeffrey R. Bernard, Yi-Hung Liao, and Jungyun Hwang


Not all athletic competitions lend themselves to supplementation during the actual event, underscoring the importance of preexercise supplementation to extend endurance and improve exercise performance. Energy drinks are composed of ingredients that have been found to increase endurance and improve physical performance.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a commercially available energy drink, ingested before exercise, on endurance performance.


The study was a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. After a 12-hr fast, 6 male and 6 female trained cyclists (mean age 27.3 ± 1.7 yr, mass 68.9 ± 3.2 kg, and VO2 54.9 ± 2.3 ml · kg–1 · min–1) consumed 500 ml of either flavored placebo or Red Bull Energy Drink (ED; 2.0 g taurine, 1.2 g glucuronolactone, 160 mg caffeine, 54 g carbohydrate, 40 mg niacin, 10 mg pantothenic acid, 10 mg vitamin B6, and 10 μg vitamin B12) 40 min before a simulated cycling time trial. Performance was measured as time to complete a standardized amount of work equal to 1 hr of cycling at 70% Wmax.


Performance improved with ED compared with placebo (3,690 ± 64 s vs. 3,874 ± 93 s, p < .01), but there was no difference in rating of perceived exertion between treatments. β-Endorphin levels increased during exercise, with the increase for ED approaching significance over placebo (p = .10). Substrate utilization, as measured by open-circuit spirometry, did not differ between treatments.


These results demonstrate that consuming a commercially available ED before exercise can improve endurance performance and that this improvement might be in part the result of increased effort without a concomitant increase in perceived exertion.

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Yuki Kokubo, Yuri Yokoyama, Kumiko Kisara, Yoshiko Ohira, Ayaka Sunami, Takahiro Yoshizaki, Yuki Tada, Sakuko Ishizaki, Azumi Hida, and Yukari Kawano

This cross-sectional study explored the prevalence of iron deficiency (ID) and associations between dietary factors and incidence of ID in female rhythmic gymnasts during preseason periods. Participants were 60 elite collegiate rhythmic gymnasts (18.1 ± 0.3 years [M ± SD]) who were recruited every August over the course of 8 years. Participants were divided into 2 groups according to the presence or absence of ID. Presence of ID was defined either by ferritin less than 12 µg/L or percentage of transferrin saturation less than 16%. Anthropometric and hematologic data, as well as dietary intake, which was estimated via a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, were compared. ID was noted in 48.3% of participants. No significant group-dependent differences were observed in physical characteristics, red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit, haptoglobin, or erythropoietin concentrations. The ID group had a significantly lower total iron-binding capacity; serum-free iron; percentage of transferrin saturation; ferritin; and intake of protein, fat, zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, beans, and eggs but not iron or vitamin C. The recommended dietary allowance for intake of protein, iron, zinc, and various vitamins was not met by 30%, 90%, 70%, and 22%–87% of all participants, respectively. Multiple logistic analysis showed that protein intake was significantly associated with the incidence of ID (odds ratio = 0.814, 95% confidence interval [0.669, 0.990], p = .039). Participants in the preseason’s weight-loss periods showed a tendency toward insufficient nutrient intake and were at a high risk for ID, particularly because of lower protein intake.

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4 4 2 2 Sport Nutrition: As the Winter Olympics Begin … Priscilla Clarkson 6 1994 4 4 2 2 79 79 79 79 10.1123/ijsn.4.2.79 Update on Carbohydrate: Solid versus Liquid Ellen Coleman 6 1994 4 4 2 2 80 80 88 88 10.1123/ijsn.4.2.80 Vitamin B 6 and Exercise Melinda M. Manore * 6 1994 4 4 2 2 89

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Iñigo Mujika

 ± 486 Iodine (µg) 139 ± 37 343 ± 109 Thiamin (mg) 3.6 ± 0.6 1.8 ± 0.4 Riboflavin (mg) 4.5 ± 1.0 4.6 ± 1.6 Niacin (mg) 43 ± 7 44 ± 10 Vitamin C (mg) 520 ± 136 49 ± 26 Vitamin A (µg) 1008 ± 643 1516 ± 547 Vitamin D (µg) 4.5 ± 2.7 7.6 ± 2.3 Vitamin E (mg) 18 ± 11 31 ± 6 Vitamin B6 (mg) 5.4 ± 0.7 4.1 ± 1