B vitamins are vital to energy production.
Almost every metabolic function in our bodies requires B vitamins. Most chemical reactions in our bodies need B vitamins to help the process along. Without B vitamins, we cannot make energy from food, manufacture red blood cells, send a nerve impulse, metabolize food, produce energy, or create hormones.
We all get some B vitamins in our diet, but most of us don’t get enough. If you are walking around feeling sluggish and tired, are not in a good mood much of the time, or your brain is in a fog, you may need more B vitamins.
B vitamins are water-soluble—that means we don’t store them and they are easily washed out of our bodies. We need a constant source of B vitamins or our body doesn’t work well and our energy fades.
Getting enough B vitamins is easier said than done:
- We are not getting enough B vitamins. Studies show the nutritional content of our food has dropped over the last few decades.[i] Add to that, most of us don’t get the nutrition we need on a daily basis—especially the B vitamins. Recent studies suggest that up to 40 percent of Americans don’t have adequate levels of B12 for optimal health.[ii]
- Daily stress can place a big burden on our bodies. Stress, alcohol, and poor eating habits all put great demands on our bodies for more B vitamins.
- Certain populations need more B vitamins. Vegans, vegetarians, people who’ve had gastric bypass surgery, and anyone with digestive conditions are typically at risk of not getting enough B vitamins. And if you are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy, it’s very important that you consume adequate amounts of B vitamins, especially folate, for the health of your baby.
If you want to take on your day full of energy, then make sure you are getting enough B vitamins in your diet. Supplementing is a good choice if you are not sure you are getting enough of these important vitamins in your food.
The next time you are out running (or just out running errands), working, or playing and you feel that dip in your energy, reach for a good multi-B vitamin supplement to make sure you are getting all the B vitamins you need.
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[i] Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82. PMID: 15637215.