Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic Acid): What runners should know about Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 is essential for the production of energy by enabling the breakdown of glucose into water and carbon dioxide.
Vitamin B5, also known as Panthothenic acid, is a water soluble vitamin of the B-complex. Almost all plant- and animal-based foods contain pantothenic acid in varying amounts. Some of the richest dietary sources are beef, chicken, organ meats, whole grains, and some vegetables. Grains are a common source because - at least in the U.S. - grains are fortified with Vitamin Bs.
FUNCTION IN THE BODY:
Like all Vitamin B's, Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) is involved in the energy production system of the body. Vitamin B5 operates in the initial stage of cellular respiration enabling the breakdown of glucose into carbon dioxide and water.
HOW IT WORKS:
Mitochondria located in cells are the energy factory of the body that create ATP through cellular respiration. Vitamin B5 is required in the initial steps to breakdown glucose ultimately into carbon dioxide and water.
In the first step of cellular respiration, glucose is split to form two molecules of pyruvate. Pyruvate then reacts with Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) to remove the acetyl groups.
In the next step, Vitamin B5 forms acetyl CoA by binding with these acetyl groups, cysteine (amino acid), and ATP. Vitamin B5 forms the backbone of acetyl CoA. Acety CoA enters the later stages of cellular respiration where further breakdown occurs ultimatley enabling the production of ATP.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR RUNNERS:
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is an important vitamin for runners for several reasons:
- ATP Production - Cellular respiration produces ATP which powers the activities required for running, notably muscle contractions. Without sufficient Vitamin B5, the body cannot produce the amount of ATP required to meet the elevated activity demands of runners.
- Efficient Energy – Efficient energy production is important to you as a runner. The better the body can convert carbohydrates and sugar to ATP, the more energy that will be available to you as a runner.
- Steady Energy – Vitamin B5 is water soluble so excess is excreted by the body. As an essential vitamin, you must consume the vitamin constantly to have a sufficient supply for energy creation.
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