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Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Posted by George Parker on
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 or Niacin benefits runners through the creation of ATP, which is the energy molecule in the body. 

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Protein based foods such as Chicken, Cheese, and Milk are good sources of Vitamin B3. In the U.S, cereals are good sources as most are fortified with B- vitamin. Internationally, Vitamin B3 is so critical that rice and flour are fortified with the vitamin to make sure the human diet is sufficient. 


Vitamin B3 or Niacin benefits runners within the final stage of cellular respiration used to produce the bulk of ATP. 


The benefit of Vitamin B3 or Niacin is the creation on NADH, which is needed to transport electrons to the final stage of cellular respiration to create the majority of ATP. 

ATP is the energy molecule of the body used to power muscle contractions, breathing, metabolism, and every other body function. ATP is a high-energy molecule that contains three phosphate bonds ("TP"). Breaking one of these phosphate bonds releases chemical energy needed to power activities in the body. After a bond of ATP is broken, the remaining molecule is ADP, which contains two/di-phosphate bonds. 

The energy cycle continues as ADP is converted back to ATP with the help of Vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 helps create another molecule called NADH, which is formed from Vitamin B3, ribose (simple sugar), and ADP. NADH enters the final stage of cellular respiration and provides the necessary electrons needed to power the creation of ATP. 

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Vitamin B3 is an essential vitamin in the body. Without Vitamin B3, NADH cannot be created, preventing the creation of ATP and stopping the energy system of the body. 

Vitamin B3 --- like all Vitamin B's --- is water soluble. Any excess in the body is excreted in urine. The body keeps what it needs based on fluctuating energy demands and excretes the rest. 


Vitamin B3 is an important runner vitamin:

  • Energy production - Runners need energy to power their movement. The energy for muscular contractions, breathing, etc. is provided by ATP. 

  • Healthy Metabolism - Food provides the necessary nutrients for the body to build muscle, power energy, and enable life functions. Vitamin B3 enables good metabolism and digestion in its role as a pre-cursor to the creation of ATP.

  • Daily Mood & Focus - Even when not running, the body requires ATP and energy to power daily activities. Sufficient energy can help improve overall mood and focus throughout the day. 

    Best wishes chasing your running goals! 

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