Vitamin Supplements for Sports Nutrition Research


Tools for uncovering the complex relationships between nutrition, health, performance and disease from Sigma Life Science.


Vitamins influence many physiological processes important to boost sports performance. They regulate energy metabolism, neuromuscular function, are essential for haemoglobin production and thereby determine oxygen delivery to the muscles. They also function as antioxidants, important for preventing oxidative damage.

Sigma® Life Science’s Nutrition Research Portfolio offers almost 200 vitamins and vitamin derivatives to support your sports nutrition research.

B Vitamins
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
E Vitamins
More popular dietary supplements for Athletes

B Vitamins
B Vitamins are popular supplements as they regulate carbohydrate, amino acid and fat metabolism and are involved in neuromuscular function. However, there is limited data available of the effect of Vitamin B supplementation on improved energy efficiency and overall physiological performance.

Thiamine is a B vitamin often found depleted in long distance – high energy athletes as it has a lower storage pool than other B Vitamins. However, thiamine depletion did not seem to affect performance measures such as working capacity of exercising muscles. Similar results were found for riboflavin and B6. Marginal depletion of these vitamins did not affect muscle efficiency, anaerobic capacity, speed or strength.

Vitamin B12, B6 and Folate are involved in the synthesis of red blood cells. Supplementation with folate slightly increased serum folate levels but did not seem to affect maximal oxygen uptake or the anaerobic threshold. One study showed improved exercise performance as a result of vitamin B-complex supplementation. Vitamin B6, B6 and B12 are involved in serotonin production, a neurotransmitter that induces relaxation and improves fine motor control. Supplementation with B6 (in combination with other B vitamins) was shown to improve target shooting performance.

VitaminVitamin C
During exercise, reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide can be produced. High levels of these metabolites can result in fatigue. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and is critical to counteract the effects of free radicals. In addition, vitamin C has a beneficial effect on the immune system and placebo controlled studies have shown a favourable effect of vitamin C supplements in athletes by reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.

Furthermore, vitamin C is also essential for the biosynthesis of cell compounds (carnitine) and the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. More research will be required to prove an effect of vitamin C supplementation on performance measures such as lactate threshold, oxygen uptake and heart rate, which can be affected by adrenaline levels.

Vitamin D
Apart from regulating Calcium and bone metabolism, Vitamin D also influences muscle function, immune defence, inflammation, cell differentiation and growth. Considering its role in bone health, vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of stress fractures in athletes. Latest research implicates that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

E Vitamins
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and has been shown to protect against lipid peroxidation by free radicals. Vitamin E also reduces the risk of an inflammatory response possibly by reducing the effects of these free radicals and lipid peroxides.

More popular dietary supplements for Athletes.

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Sigma® Life Science offers a unique portfolio of compounds typically applied in nutrition research, sport and exercise nutrition, cancer studies and other human diseases.
Review our complete listing of Nutrition Research Products.

 ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: research and recommendations. Kreider et al. 2010
 Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Lanham et al. (editor). Publication by the Nutrition Society. (Wiley-Blackwell).