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What are Vitamins & its best sources – Know the importance of vitamins for athletes

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To carry out day-to-day activities comfotably, not only humans, even plants and animals require nutrients. Nutrients are of two types, micronutrients, and macronutrients. Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body needs in larger amounts. The major three macronutrients are Carbohydrates, fat, and protein. While micronutrients are nutrients that are required by the body in lesser amounts for its growth and development. These micronutrients are broadly classified as vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and other nutrients are important to include in your food to keep the body working and functioning properly.

In this article, you will learn everything about vitamins, definition of vitamins, benefits of vitamins, effects of low vitamins, source of vitamins, vitamin b (&b12), vitamin c, vitamin d, vitamin k and a lot more.

What are vitamins?

what are vitamins- KreedOn
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Vitamins are micronutrients that are required in small quantities for growth and development, repair and healing wounds, maintaining healthy bones and tissues. It also helps in the proper functioning of an immune system and other biological functions. Humans cannot produce vitamins and hence they consume food to fulfill the need for vitamins and other nutrients.

Types of Vitamins

There are two types of vitamins; fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.

  • The fat-soluble vitamins, as the name suggests, are stored in fat cells. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins.
  • While water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, they get excreted through urine. As they get out of the body regularly, these vitamins need to be replenished constantly. Vitamin B and C are water-soluble vitamins.

Definition of vitamins

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Scientifically, vitamins are among several organic substances that are necessary in small quantities for normal health and growth in higher forms of animal life. Vitamin is an organic compound which means it contains carbon.

  • Vitamins are generally represented by either an alphabet V or by their chemical names.

READ | Best Carbohydrates Foods for Athletes & its impact on performance – Know here

Benefits of vitamins

Vitamins are essential for body and provide enough strength to carry out daily activities of life. Consumption of vitamins makes you healthy but that doesn’t mean one should consume only vitamins. Just like any other nutrients, vitamins are most effective when consumed in balance with other nutrients.

Nowadays, you can track your micronutrient intake using mobile fitness apps. These apps will tell you what amount of various nutrients you require ideally.

With a proper balance between various food nutrients, you can reap the following benefits through vitamins:-

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  • Promotes healthy aging.
  • Reduces anxiety and stress.
  • Boosts your cardiovascular health.
  • Covers your nutritional bases.
  • Supports your immune system.
  • Keeps the body in good working order.
  • Improves your eyesight.
  • Keep your bones strong.
  • Aids brain function.
  • Supports healthy metabolism.
  • Promotes healthier skin and hair.

Effects of low vitamins on the body

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Being healthy is all about having an equilibrium of nutrients in body. But even a deficiency of a single nutrient can have drastic effects on your health and well-being.

Following are the effects of a lack of vitamins in the body:-

  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pale or yellowish skin.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Weight loss.
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Personality changes.
  • Unsteady movements.
  • Mental confusion or forgetfulness.

If one has really low levels of vitamins in his body, he might suffer from long-term health issues. Hence always ensure that you are keeping up with the required vitamin levels.

READ | Aspiring Nutritionists & Sports Nutrition Courses in India 

Source of vitamins

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The human body has been designed in such a way that it absorbs all the necessary nutrients from the food and passes out waste as excreta. 

Following are the name of vitamins and their sources:-

  • Vitamin A: Found in potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, beef, and eggs.
  • Vitamin D: Found in fortified milk and other dairy products.
  • Vitamin E: Found in fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
  • Vitamin K: Found in dark green leafy vegetables and turnip or beet green.
  • Vitamin C: Abundantly found in all citrus fruits

Vitamin b, B12

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Vitamin b plays an important role in cell metabolism and synthesis of red blood cells. The dietary supplements containing all eight B vitamins (mentioned below) are referred to as a vitamin B complex.

Following are the various vitamins b and their names.

  1. Vitamin B1:-Thiamine.
  2. Vitamin B2: Riboflavin. 
  3. Vitamin B3:-Niacin (nicotinic acid), Nicotinamide, Nicotinamide riboside.
  4. Vitamin B5:- Pantothenic acid.
  5. Vitamin B6:- :-Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine.
  6. Vitamin B7:-Biotin.  
  7. Vitamin B9:- Folate.
  8. Vitamin B12:- Cobalamins

Sources of Vitamin B

  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamine: Found in pork chops, ham, enriched grains, and seeds.
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin: Found in whole grains, enriched grains, and dairy products.
  • Vitamin B3 or Niacin: Found in mushrooms, fish, poultry, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid: Found in chicken, broccoli, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine: Found in fortified cereals and soy products.
  • Vitamin B7 or Biotin: Found in many fruits like fruits and meats.
  • Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid: Found in leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin B12: Found in fish, poultry, meat, and dairy products.

Vitamin C

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Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin.

sources of vitamin C

  • Citrus (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit).
  • Bell peppers.
  • Strawberries.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower).
  • White potatoes.

READ | Top 10 Best BCAA Supplements to enhance your power & boost your energy

Vitamin D

Image Source- The quint

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a few foods and is also available as a dietary supplement.

Sources of vitamin D

  • Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel.
  • Red meat.
  • Liver.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Fortified foods
  • Dairy supplements.

Vitamin K

Image Source- verywellfit.com

Sources of Vitamin K

  • Green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli and spinach.
  • Vegetable oils.
  • Cereal grains.
  • Dairy foods.


Vitamins are essential not only to carry out your daily routine but also to shield you from diseases. If consumed in less quantity, it can have a serious effect on your body. Unlike carbohydrates, in vitamins, there isn’t anything called low-vitamin or high-vitamin.  Everyone has to have a required intake of vitamins to maintain their good health and well-being.

READ | Top 10 Best Protein Powders: Start the Right ‘Whey’ Today

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Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh’s love for Test cricket has no limits. He indulges himself in listening to experts talking about Test cricket. Saurabh absolutely loves the way Aussies play the game. He is quite new to football, but football fever has taken complete control of him. He is an ardent Bayern Munich fan. Saurabh loves to write about sports. Other than sports, he is a voracious reader, a fitness freak, loves physics, loves to stay away from social media, and a Mechanical Engineer too!


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