Vitamin B7 (Biotin): What runners should know about Vitamin B7 and Lactic Acid while Running
Vitamin B7, also known as Biotin, is a water soluble vitamin of the B-complex. Many food sources contain some biotin. Foods that contain the most biotin include organ meats, eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables (such as sweet potatoes). 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 B7 (Biotin) is involved in the energy production system of the body. Vitamin B7 operates in anearobic respiration to help remove lactic acid produced in muscles while running.
HOW IT WORKS:
During easy to moderate running, muscle cells receive enough oxygen for aerobic cellular respiration. Glucose is split to form two molecules of pyruvate. Pyruvate then reacts with Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) to remove the acetyl groups. Vitamin B5 forms acetyl CoA by binding with these acetyl groups, cysteine (amino acid), and ATP. Acety CoA enters the later stages of cellular respiration ultimately enabling the production of ATP.
However, during intense pace intervals or tempo running, muscle cells do not receive enough oxygen to meet energy demands. Cells change tactics to produce energy from glucose using anaerobic respiration --- without oxygen. Anaerobic respiration is fast, but inefficient because its principal byproduct is lactic acid that build-ups in muscles leading to fatigue.
Lactic acid produced while running is removed from muscles through the Cori cycle. Lactic acid is transported from muscles to the liver where it is re-synthesized to glucose. This glucose returns to muscles to undergo aerobic or anaerobic respiration depending upon presence of oxygen.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is essential for the Cori Cycle to operate. Vitamin B7 bonds to bicarbonate (dissolved carbon dioxide in the blood created from cellular respiration) and add these carbon and oxygen atoms to pyruvate to re-synthesize glucose.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR RUNNERS:
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is an important vitamin for runners for several reasons:
- Remove Lactic Acid while Running - The buildup of lactic acid leading to muscle fatigue is common runner struggle during race or tempo pace efforts. The more efficient your body can recycle lactic acid, the longer you can sustain goal pace efforts.
- Hills and Surges – During workouts and races, you can enter moments of anaerobic respiration when running hills or surging pace. In these brief moments, muscles cells will produce lactic before returning to aerobic respiration. A well working Cori cycle will flush lactic acid from the muscles preventing eventual fatigue.
- Efficient Energy – Efficient energy production is important to you as a runner. The better the body can convert carbohydrates and sugar to ATP across a range of running paces, the more energy that will be available to you as a runner.
Best wishes chasing your running goals!
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