Boosting Energy with B Vitamins
Author: Lia Pellizzeri Date Posted:5 March 2019
Even though we often take them for granted in our daily Multivitamin or combined B-Complex supplements, the B vitamins are absolutely essential for a range of biological reactions occurring in the body – one of them most importantly being the simple production of energy. This is a major reason we will often recommend a product with B vitamins to people who are feeling fatigued or run down!
What are B Vitamins?
As a group, the B vitamins are made up of eight water-soluble molecules that perform essential roles and act as little helpers to catalyse a vast array of enzymatic reactions. This can start to sound a little technical due to their contributions at the cellular level, but it’s really important to understand how your vitamins work in order to feel confident taking them.
So just think of it as the domino effect… B vitamins are needed for enzymatic reactions to take place, which in turn switches on our energy making machines in our cells, allowing for normal physiological functioning and hence the energy we feel on a day to day basis. When these B’s are lacking, we tend to feel lethargic, fatigued, and unfocused – all due to that very first part of the puzzle being missing.
The main B’S involved in energy production
Otherwise known respectively as Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Niacin, these three are among the most commonly used vitamins for increasing energy as they are involved in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, as well as being essential coenzymes in cellular energy production and the formation of adenosine triphosphate or ATP – pure energy!
Richest food sources include Brewer’s yeast, legumes, lean meat, milk, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, and potatoes.
Pantothenic acid also works along-side B1, B2 and B3 in the Krebs cycle, making it important for energy storage and release. Due to its involvement in neurotransmitter synthesis it is also critical for controlling stress and its associated responses through its role in adrenal hormone function.
Dietary sources of B5 include meat, egg yolks, broad beans, legumes and potatoes which contain the highest amounts, but it can also be found in a range of foods including peanuts, milk, broccoli, avocado and mushrooms.
Vital for many processes in the body, Cobalamin is essential for nerve and blood cell health and deficiencies can lead to symptoms including weakness, fatigue and low mood, as well as resulting in a condition known as pernicious anaemia. Although B12 deficiency should be rare in our society, it can actually be quite common due to its absorption being affected by certain medications and digestive issues influencing the concentration, activation, and release of B12. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your B12 levels.
Food sources include liver, sardines, oysters, egg yolk, meat, mushrooms, cheese and milk.
But aren't I just peeing them out?
Yes of course you are, just as you will be with anything you ingest that is water soluble – and that is actually the beauty of the B vitamins. The body will absorb what is required and excrete the waste as opposed to having it build up in tissues and causing a potential imbalance, meaning you can rest assured knowing you are taking a supplement that is meeting your body’s needs only.
So do I need to supplement with B vitamins and will they help my energy levels?
Generally speaking, you will only feel an increase in energy if you are deficient in B vitamins in the first place. However mild deficiency, or rather, inadequate amounts to meet physiological demands on a day to day basis is not uncommon, as demand increases due to many common factors from decreased immunity and poor diet, to certain medications, ageing, and times of stress.
Taking a B vitamin supplement can simply make you feel better by addressing functioning at a cellular level, try it for yourself and see if it makes a difference to you!
‘If you are thinking of taking a Multi or B-vitamin complex, rate your energy levels every day before you begin your bottle in a score out of ten, and keep doing so once you begin. Often people do not notice subtle and gradual improvements, so seeing it on paper can help you gage whether these supplements are of any benefit to you.’
Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your energy and or B vitamin levels.
|Written by Lia Pellizzeri|
Lia is a qualified Naturopath who believes in the power of nature to heal many of today’s acute and chronic conditions. She’s not only passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, but about educating people on nutrition and the amazing benefits of herbs and supplements in addressing symptoms and their underlying issues.
Lia loves to cook, bake and read… when she isn’t busy telling people to enjoy their egg yolks and other healthy fats, she can most likely be found on the lounge with a latte and a tattered copy of Lord of the Rings.