Thiamine gives you more energy and keeps your brain healthy
Thiamine health benefits
- It plays an important role in energy metabolism, helping to convert carbohydrates into energy. It works by helping to convert glucose, a simple sugar, into energy that can be used by the cells. The body also needs thiamine to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is a molecule that transports energy within cells.
- Thiamine also plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the nervous system. It is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and the nerves. It is important for maintaining the integrity of the myelin sheath, which is a protective coating around nerve fibers. This helps to ensure proper nerve conduction and communication between the brain and the rest of the body. It is also involved in the production of some neurotransmitters.
- It also helps to maintain the health of the heart and the muscles. Thiamine can help to maintain proper cardiac function and healthy heartbeat rhythms, and lower the risk of kidney failure.
Foods rich in Thiamine
- Whole grains: Whole wheat, oats, and brown rice are good sources of thiamine.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts are good sources of thiamine.
- Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils are good sources of thiamine.
- Pork: Pork is a good source of thiamine, particularly pork chops, pork loin, and ham.
- Fortified foods: Some breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta are fortified with thiamine.
- Some seafood: Salmon, tuna, and shellfish are good sources of thiamine
- Some vegetables: Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and kale are also good sources of thiamine.
Recommended daily intake
- Adult men: 1.2 milligrams per day
- Adult women: 1.1 milligrams per day
- Pregnant women: 1.4 milligrams per day
- Breastfeeding women: 1.5 milligrams per day
- Beriberi: This is a serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing weakness and paralysis of the limbs.
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome: This is a serious condition that affects the brain and can cause memory loss, confusion, and difficulty walking.
- Heart problems: A deficiency of thiamine can lead to an enlarged heart, heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythms.
- Nerve damage: A deficiency of thiamine can lead to damage of the nerves, causing numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet.
- Fatigue and muscle weakness: A deficiency of thiamine can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, and difficulty in performing everyday activities.
- Gastrointestinal distress: High doses of thiamine may cause stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may experience allergic reactions to thiamine supplements, such as skin rash or hives.
- Thiamine is also known as Vitamin B1 because it was the first B vitamin to be discovered.
- Thiamine is named after the word “thiamin,” which is derived from the ancient Greek word for “sulfur.” This is because thiamine was originally thought to contain sulfur.
- Beriberi is a word of Sinhalese origin meaning “I cannot, I cannot”, it was used to describe the debilitating symptoms caused by thiamine deficiency.
- Thiamine is also known to be a key component in the brewing process, it helps the yeast convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
- The most common cause of thiamine deficiency is alcohol abuse. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of thiamine and increases the body’s need for it, which can lead to deficiency.
Why is Thiamine important for sports performance?
- Energy production: Thiamine is essential for the conversion of glucose, a simple sugar, into energy that can be used by the body. This is particularly important for athletes, as they need a steady supply of energy to perform at their best.
- Nervous system function: Thiamine is important for maintaining the nervous system’s health and helps ensure proper nerve conduction and communication between the brain and the rest of the body. This is important for athletes, as it allows them to react quickly and make precise movements.
- Heart muscles function: Thiamine is important for maintaining the health of the heart and muscles. This is important for athletes, as it helps to prevent muscle weakness and fatigue, and ensures that the muscles are able to work at their best.
- Recovery: Thiamine is important for the recovery process after intense physical activity. It helps to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation and allows the body to repair and rebuild damaged tissues.