In this guide you will learn why vitamins are so important for our bodies. We will go into the effects of vitamins in the body and you will get a detailed insight into the individual vitamins.

These chapters await you:

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1. What are vitamins?

Vitaminguide-vitamins

Vitamins are indispensable for the human body and must be taken in through the daily diet, at best through five portions of fruit and vegetables. One exception is vitamin D, which can be produced in the skin by the sun’s UVB radiation.

On the one hand, vitamins are divided into the group of B vitamins and vitamin C which are considered to be water-soluble. As they cannot be stored in sufficient amounts in the body, the organism is not able to compensate a deficiency situation accordingly, for example during a strict diet. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins K, A, D and E, on the other hand, are stored in large quantities in the liver and are available to people with nutritional deficiencies. 

A distinction is made between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins:

fat-soluble vitaminswater-soluble vitamins
Vitamin A (retinol)Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin D (calcifenol)Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin E (tocopherol)Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal)
 Vitamin B12 (Kobalamin)
 Niacin
 Pantothenic acid
 biotin
 Folic acid

2. Why are vitamins so important?

The very name “vitamins” shows how indispensable they are. “Vita” is Latin and means life. We could not survive without vitamins. They ensure the functioning of the human metabolism and immune system.

For the body, a sufficient supply of vitamins is essential to stay fit and healthy. Among other things, they act against free radicals. These are metabolic products that damage cells and thus DNA and can lead to cancer. Vitamins A, C and E in particular can neutralise free radicals. 

Any overload, whether physical or mental, puts the body under stress, which leads to an increased need for vitamins. These help the body to relieve the stress and to achieve a psychological balance. Vitamins therefore also have a great importance for mental health.

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3. What functions do vitamins have?

Vitamin A is responsible for the visual process and the structure of the (mucous) skin. The group of B vitamins is important for metabolic functions. One example is B12, which can form red blood cells. 

The positive effect of vitamin C on our immune system becomes particularly relevant in the course of a cold. 

Vitamin E can prevent the destruction of cell walls and vitamin D ensures that they are built up. The latter also helps to build up calcium in the bones, making them more stable. 

Detailed information about the functions of the vitamins can be found in our vitamin guide, which you can download for free at the bottom of the page.

→ You can read more detailed information about the functions of vitamins in our individual articles about vitamins.

4. Why do you need vitamins in training?

Vitamin Guide Vitamins in Training

The calories we consume during training increase our energy and therefore our vitamin requirements. The intake of vitamins is therefore important in order to compensate for a possible deficiency at an early stage. They also combat free radicals that are formed in our muscles during exercise.

They are also involved in important processes, such as vitamin B1 in carbohydrate metabolism. The athletic performance is therefore maintained by a sufficient supply of this vitamin. 

Tissue damage that occurs physiologically during training is repaired by vitamin E.

5. Common reasons for a vitamin deficiency

Some life circumstances can lead to a vitamin deficiency. This can be the case, for example, due to the consumption of stimulants such as nicotine and alcohol. They curb the appetite, which results in a lower intake of nutrients.

Young adolescents need a particularly large amount of vitamins because their bodies are completely transformed and many growth spurts occur. Poor nutrition can quickly lead to a vitamin deficiency. 

Taking the pill, pregnancy and breastfeeding are also situations that are associated with an increased need for nutrients. As a result, women can often be affected by a vitamin deficiency.

Other reasons may be:

  • Incorrect or unbalanced diet
  • Vegetarian or vegan diet
  • Incorrect food preparation or storage
  • Insufficient absorption in the intestine
  • Lack of light
  • Increased vitamin requirements
  • Old age
  • Increased losses

6. Which foods provide vitamins

Vitamin Guide Food

Above all, the consumption of fruit and vegetables offers us a high vitamin supply. Fruits, such as oranges, contain vitamin B9, pineapples contain B6 and a grapefruit contains a lot of vitamin C. B vitamins play a particularly important role in vegetables. Spinach and red peppers also contain vitamin A. 

In addition to vitamins A, B2, B6 and B12, dairy products provide our body with vitamin D, which can otherwise only be obtained from sunlight. Vitamins B2 and 12, as well as vitamin K can be found in meat and fish. 

If you like eggs for breakfast, this is the right choice for you in terms of vitamin supply. They contain fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E.

→ You can find even more food and more about vitamins in our free vitamin guide for download.

7. More about articles

→Do you already know our supplement guide or mineral guide?

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