If you are an athlete or generally active person, you can’t beat the energy sustenance you’ll get from a B-vitamin regimen. The core B-vitamin group includes vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate or folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).
The tricky part is that you’d have to eat a lot of the B-vitamin-packed core food sources (whole grains, meats, eggs, and dairy) to get enough Bs..Plus you’d have to have an amazing digestive system to actually absorb the majority of nutrients from those vitamin-packed foods.
B-12 is the toughest B vitamin to get regularly; it’s found almost exclusively in animal products. You can mine for B vitamins in beans, nuts, seeds and dark green leaves, but you must be diligent. So for active folks, especially for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, supplementing with Bs may be the best solution.
How B vitamins work in the body
Why are Bs so vital to people who are always on the go? Well, it comes down to energy metabolism, a series of chemical and biological reactions that transform food sources and resulting glucose into usable energy. You might think of your energy metabolism as how efficiently your body uses the right sources of fuel at the right time to sustain your energy, rather than letting it dip and peak throughout the day.
Adequate B vitamin intake is linked to all kinds of positive health states, from “making” more energy in the first place to supporting the immune system and blood circulation, which are all related to helping the body ward off the dreaded sluggishness and fatigue that many of us struggle with on the daily.
Athletes who demand endurance from their bodies during training and peak performance at race time obviously use the most energy of all. However, athletes’ dietary choices can make a big difference in whether or not they are getting adequate B vitamin intake.
If you generally follow a well-rounded whole-food diet, you might do just fine in the B vitamin category. But that’s not often the case with busy, active people in a modern world. When you forgo meat or super greens due to time constraints or load up on easy carbohydrates for fast-processing energy, you could be putting your body into a vitamin B-deficient state.
Ultimately, when you don’t include enough nutrient-dense whole foods, your B levels can drop—and you will feel it. If you eliminate food sources due to a particular diet, over-carb at the expense of nutrient-loaded snacks, or just plain forget to eat well, you may not have the best B vitamin intake for optimal performance and endurance.
The biggest missing link: B-12
One of the most noticeable B deficiencies in athletes is B-12, a powerhouse for energy metabolism and blood health. The problem is it’s found most readily in animal-based foods, including beef, chicken, liver, tuna, salmon, etc. If you don’t like eating a lot of meat, you’re likely missing out on critical B-12, which can show up in the form of anemia.
Today’s top B-12 supplements use methylcobalamin, a form of B-12 that best matches the body’s natural form. There are other B-12 synthetics, such as cyanocobalamin, but these must be converted inside the body — just one more process between you and vitamin absorption. Some yeast extracts contain high amounts of B-12, but you will need to stay on top of this particular B to put you in a healthy place.
How to get more B vitamins
So what’s the solution for getting more B vitamins — and the energy that comes along for the ride? You can dial in your diet like a pro, or you can take a sure bet: supplementing with a B complex that’s going to fill in all the holes. With the right supplement, vegetarians and vegans could level up even more.
It’s not hard to add these nutritional energy masters to your routine, especially when you can get them all in one bottle. The ultimate is a liposomal formula with up to eight essential B vitamins — a B complex — that your body can recognize and put to use. Getting superior nutrient forms of Bs is critical, because many factors, such as your age, genetic variations, medications, and even low stomach acid, can inhibit B vitamin absorption.
When a complete set of Bs are carefully combined in a metabolically active form, these vital vitamins circulate from under the tongue into the bloodstream, bypassing breakdown in the gut, to help you through mental and physical slumps in your day, week, and workouts.
Interested in the most bioavailable B vitamins? Check out our best-selling Methyl B Complex and other related products.