Are you feeling drained of energy? You may think the solution is a second cup of coffee or an additional 30 minutes of sleep. These may provide you with a short-term boost, but if your energy levels are consistently low, you may be deficient in vitamin B12.
Methylcobalamin, or vitamin B12, is not a stimulant like caffeine. Its job in providing humans with energy is a complicated metabolic dance. So, how exactly does B12 give you energy?
B12 converts the food we consume into usable energy by converting the glucose in carbohydrates into ATP, which provides energy to our cells.
Let’s take a closer look at vitamin B12 for energy. And more importantly, let’s understand how you can ensure you’re getting enough of the B12 energy vitamin.
Understanding Vitamin B12
One of the eight vitamins in the B-complex, B12, does much work for your body. It helps convert the food you eat into glucose, which provides energy. There are numerous other functions of vitamin B-12. You require it for:
- Production of red blood cells.
- Prevention of megaloblastic anemia.
- Production of elements of DNA.
- Regeneration of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract lining and the bone marrow.
- Protecting the health of your nervous system, which includes your spinal cord.
B12 is a vitamin regarded as "essential," meaning that your body cannot produce it on its own and that you must get it from outside sources. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure you get enough vitamin B12.
Natural sources of B12 include fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Additionally, it can be used as a dietary supplement.
Does Vitamin B12 Give Energy: The Role of Vitamin B12 in Energy Metabolism
If you already have enough B12 vitamin energy in your body, increasing your consumption will likely not give you the same boost that a cup of coffee or an energy drink would. It is a nutrient rather than a stimulant.
B12 aids in converting protein and fat into energy for your body. Your body also requires B12 to produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your tissues, to feel strong and active all day.
When you don't get enough B12, your body struggles to turn food into energy. Therefore, if your B12 levels are low and it eventually returns to normal, you might feel more energized and awake.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how will B12 give me energy?
B12 Vitamins For Energy
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is generated from the glucose that makes up our food(1). The molecule ATP(2) provides the cells the energy they require to power the body. B12 vitamin comes into play here.
The cells in the body need vitamin B12 to carry out the necessary chemical processes that allow them to metabolize the glucose molecules they require to produce ATP energy. Vitamin B12 is essential for this process. B12 gives the body the resources to transform food molecules into energy, even if it doesn't directly provide energy.
Therefore, getting the recommended daily dose of B12 can help ensure that the body can produce the energy required to perform your tasks. Moreover, consuming the recommended amount each day can help avoid some of the signs of a B12 deficiency(3), such as insomnia or fatigue.
Increasing your B12 levels could make you feel more energized and prevent B12 deficiency symptoms if you aren't getting enough.
Causes and Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
Even while the majority of non-vegetarian people get adequate vitamin B12, certain people are more susceptible to a deficiency, especially:
- Older adults.
- Pregnant women.
- Have HIV, Crohn’s or celiac disease.
- Take prescription antacids, colchicine, anti-seizure medications, or chemotherapy medications.
- Are vegans and don’t eat meat or dairy products.
- Have an immune dysfunction.
- Regularly consume alcohol.
The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Muscle weakness.
- Muscle spasticity and stiffness.
- Mood disturbances.
- Low blood pressure.
Megaloblastic anemia is the most severe disease linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. The bone marrow overproduces immature, large blood cells in this chronic blood disorder. Because of this, there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body.
Sources of Vitamin B12
A balanced diet is a good source of vitamin B12. However, there are several ways to help ensure you’re getting B12.
- Foods: B12 is naturally present in many foods, including fish, poultry, eggs, meat (particularly beef and beef liver), and dairy products like milk and cheese.
- Nutritional supplements and fortified foods: Many people can obtain their recommended daily intake of B12 from a normal diet alone; however, others also need to consume functional foods like energy drinks or cereals fortified with B12 or nutritional supplements (in the form of capsules, tablets, or gummies).
- Vitamin B12 energy drinks.
- B12 shots or drips.
FAQs About Does B12 Give You Energy
How Much B12 Should I Take To Increase Energy?
For adults over 14, 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day is recommended. However, depending on your age, lifestyle, and particular circumstances, you could wish to take more or less.
How Long Does It Take To Feel The Effects Of Vitamin B12 Supplements On Energy Levels?
You may begin feeling the effects of B12 in 3 to 4 weeks of consistently taking a supplement. However, it may take six months or longer to recover from a severe B12 deficiency fully.
Is It Better To Take Vitamin B12 Every Day Or Once A Week?
Because it is not a nutrient that our bodies naturally make, vitamin B12 must be consumed daily. Your body only takes in what it needs; any extra is excreted in the urine.
Although B12 is considered a "micro" nutrient, it is crucial for producing energy and provides the basis for overall health. How does B12 give you energy? As it produces red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, B12 plays a fundamental role in your existence. Additionally, B12 is necessary for the synthesis of DNA in practically every cell in your body and for the proper functioning of your nerve cells.
If a blood test reveals that your B12 levels are low, supplements can restore them to normal levels and give you more energy. Seek professional guidance and take a holistic approach to energy management.
- How Cells Obtain Energy from Food, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26882/
- Physiology, Adenosine Triphosphate, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553175/
- The Many Faces of Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Deficiency, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6543499/