If you want to improve your muscular strength and health, you are sure to follow a strict exercise regime, take supplements, and eat foods that support a healthy physique. This includes focusing on the benefits of natural vitamins, such as B12.
Vitamin B12 does aid in muscle growth. It also aids sleep, energy, and cell growth and repair in the human body. There are many ways to naturally increase your vitamin B12 intake. Vitamin B12 is found exclusively in animal products and byproducts. Consult your healthcare providers for detailed insights.
Continue reading to find out how vitamin B12 affects muscle growth and its vital role in the human body.
Benefits of Vitamin B12 For Muscle Growth
Vitamin B-12 is a nutrient that aids the health of your body’s blood and nerve cells and the production of DNA, which is the important genetic material that can bebe found in all of your cells. Vitamin B-12 also aids in the prevention of megaloblastic anemia, a blood disorder that causes fatigue and weakness.
Vitamin B-12 aids in the digestion of protein and fat. As you build your muscles, you rely on amino acids from protein metabolism to repair and develop your muscles and fat as an energy source.
B-12 is also required to form red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the muscles. B12 also aids in the maintenance of proper neurological function, which is necessary for muscular control.
How Much Vitamin B12 Should You Take?
How much vitamin B-12 you need is dependent on your age, health status, and activity levels. Below is a list of how much vitamin B-12 you should be taking. Keep in mind that this list is a guideline, and you should always consult medical professionals for the safest and most accurate information.
- Birth to 6 months: 0.4 mcg
- Infants (7 – 12 months): 0.5 mcg
- Toddlers (1 – 3 years): 0.5 mcg
- Children (4 – 8 years): 0.9 mcg
- Children (9 – 13 years): 1.8mcg
- Teens (14 years and older): 2.4 mcg
- Adults: 2.4mcg
- Pregnant women: 2.6mcg
- Breastfeeding women: 2.8mcg
The Office of Dietary Supplements states that most individuals in the United States have little trouble fulfilling their daily vitamin B-12 requirements. Vitamin B-12 has a daily intake recommendation of 2.4 micrograms. B-12 is not stored in the human body and has a low toxicity level. Taking more vitamin B-12 than is suggested, on the other hand, will not boost your energy or workouts if you are not deficient.
What Foods Are Naturally High In B12?
Vitamin B-12 differs from the other B vitamins in that you can only find it in animal products. Plant foods like morning cereals and plant-milk replacements like soy milk, on the other hand, may be fortified with the vitamin. Unless fortified, plant foods do not contain vitamin B12.
You can acquire enough vitamin B12 by consuming a variety of foods, including the ones listed below:
- Vitamin B12 is found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
- Vitamin B12 is found in clams and cow liver, among other foods.
- Vitamin B12 is added to several morning cereals, nutritious yeasts, and other dietary items.
Check the nutritional facts label on the back of products to see whether a food has been supplemented with vitamin B12. You should be aware that if a food contains vitamin B12 naturally, manufacturers are not obligated to declare it on the label.
Vitamin B12 Dietary Supplements
You can find vitamin B12 in multivitamin/multimineral supplements, B-complex supplements, and vitamin B12-only supplements. Usually, it is found in the form of cyanocobalamin. Vitamin B12 can also be taken in a liquid form dissolved under the tongue (called sublingual vitamin B12).
There is no evidence that one kind of supplementary vitamin B12 is superior to another. Supplements with varying amounts of vitamin B12 are available. Some supplements contain much higher doses of vitamin B12 than recommended, but your body only absorbs a small portion of it. These dosages are regarded as safe.
Vitamin B12 can be administered through an injection if you have a prescription for it. Vitamin B12 deficiency is frequently treated with this. Vitamin B12 is often available as a nasal gel sprayed into the nose on a prescription basis.
Look at the Supplement Facts label to find out how much vitamin B12 a supplement contains. These nutritional facts are usually found on the back of the supplement bottles.
Signs Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are signs and symptoms that you may experience when you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency. This may affect your workout routine and impact how your body feels and reacts to attempts at building muscle.
If you suspect that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you should consult healthcare professionals who can advise the best kind of treatment options for you.
The symptoms of a vitamin B-12 deficiency include:
- A touch of light yellow on your skin
- A red and swollen tongue (glossitis)
- Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Disturbed vision
- Changes in the manner that you walk and move around
- Depression – which causes changes in how you think, feel, and act, as well as a reduction in cognitive functions such as memory, comprehension, and judgment
How Does Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Develop?
In the United States, most individuals acquire adequate vitamin B12 through their diet. Some people, however, have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from their diet. Vitamin B12 is absorbed in two steps by the human body.
First, the stomach’s hydrochloric acid removes vitamin B12 from the protein it’s bound to.
Second, the liberated vitamin B12 joins with an intrinsic factor, a protein produced by the stomach, and the two are absorbed together by the body.
Individuals who suffer from pernicious anemia cannot produce intrinsic factors. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune illness. As a result, individuals struggle to absorb vitamin B12 from meals and supplements.
Between 3% and 43% of elderly persons suffer from vitamin B12 insufficiency. Your doctor can do a test to discover whether you’re deficient in vitamin B12.
Specific Groups At Risk Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to some serious health conditions. Below are the groups most at risk of deficiency.
Many older adults don’t have sufficient hydrochloric acid in their stomachs to absorb vitamin B12 from meals. Because their systems can absorb vitamin B12 from fortified foods or dietary supplements, people over 50 should derive most of their vitamin B12 intake from these sources.
People Suffering From Atrophic Gastritis
People with atrophic gastritis, an inflammatory condition, may not absorb enough vitamin B12 because their stomach produces too little hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factors.
People Suffering From Pernicious Anemia
Pernicious anemia patients do not produce the intrinsic factor required for vitamin B12 absorption. They have extreme difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from meals and supplements. Vitamin B12 injections are the most common treatment for pernicious anemia; however, very high doses of vitamin B12 taken orally may also be beneficial.
People With Stomach Issues
Some forms of the stomach or intestinal surgery (for example, to decrease weight or remove part or all of the stomach) may result in insufficient hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor to absorb vitamin B12.
There are some people with stomach and small intestine diseases, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, who cannot absorb adequate amounts of vitamin B12.
People Who Follow Plant-Based Diets
Vegetarians and vegans may not acquire enough vitamin B12 from their diets since they eat little or no animal products. Vitamin B12 is naturally found only in animal diets. When mothers are severe vegetarians or vegans while pregnant or breastfeeding, their newborns may not acquire enough vitamin B12.
Links Between Vitamin B12 And Disease
Scientists are researching vitamin B12 to learn more about how it impacts one’s health, specifically in excessively high doses. Some studies have shown that a vitamin B12 deficiency can have detrimental effects. After all, too much of a good thing is ever a good idea. Here are a few instances of what this study revealed.
According to certain studies, those who have high amounts of vitamin B12 have a greater cancer risk. However, some evidence suggests that those with low amounts of vitamin B12 have a greater risk of cancer or that vitamin B12 levels have no effect on cancer risk. Further extensive research is needed to determine if vitamin B12 levels increase cancer risk.
Stroke And Heart Disease
Supplementing with vitamin B12 (together with other B vitamins) lowers homocysteine levels in the blood. This chemical is associated with an elevated risk of heart attack or stroke. However, despite lowering homocysteine levels, evidence demonstrates that these vitamins do not affect cardiovascular disease or stroke risk.
Alzheimer’s Disease And Cognitive Function
The majority of research suggests that low vitamin B12 levels in the blood do not affect the likelihood of a cognitive decline in older persons, whether or not they have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. More clinical trials are needed to understand further the effects of vitamin B12 supplementation on cognitive performance in older persons.
Endurance And Energy
Manufacturers frequently promote vitamin B12 supplements as aids to energy, athletic performance, and endurance. However, in those who obtain adequate B12 from their diet, vitamin B12 does not give these advantages.
Vitamin B12 Supplements Can Interact With Other Medications
Some medications may conflict or interfere with vitamin B12 supplements. You should consult your medical practitioner prior to trying new supplements on existing medication. Here are a few examples of such medications.
Inhibitors Of Gastric Acid
Gastric acid inhibitors are used to treat various digestive issues, including gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. By decreasing the flow of hydrochloric acid into the stomach, these medicines can prevent vitamin B12 absorption from meals, resulting in vitamin B12 insufficiency.
Diabetes and prediabetes can be treated with metformin. Metformin may depress vitamin B12 blood levels by reducing vitamin B12 absorption.
You should disclose any dietary supplements and prescription or over-the-counter drugs you use to your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare professionals. You should be able to get advice from your healthcare provider about whether the dietary supplements you’re taking will interfere with your medications.
Healthcare providers can also tell you whether the drugs you’re taking interfere with your body’s ability to absorb or utilize other nutrients.
Should You Take Vitamin B12 Before A Workout?
Some argue that you’ll require more B vitamins than the typical person if you’re an athlete. Still, even if that were true, athletes would consume more calories (and hence virtually likely more nutrients) than the ordinary person. As a result, it doesn’t appear that athletes require a billion percent of the RDI of B12.
Some people believe that increasing B12 consumption around exercise is a good idea since lifting weights promotes protein synthesis while increasing protein breakdown.
Because B12 cannot be synthesized by the body and is necessary for synthesizing the amino acid methionine, it is frequently combined with BCAAs on the idea that it will rise as protein synthesis increases.
While this theory appears to be sound on paper, there is no evidence that B12 levels in people who do not have a deficit are ever a bottleneck for protein synthesis.
This is most likely the reason for the presence of B12 in your BCAAs. However, the data isn’t strong enough to say that this is the reason you should take B12 with your pre-workout.
While vitamin B12 naturally aids muscle growth and many other bodily functions, there is little to no evidence to show that taking more than the recommended daily intake will increase these effects. This vitamin is not a cure-all solution or protein powder supplement.
It would be best if you still focused on rectifying any deficiencies you may have, as they can lead to many health conditions which definitely will influence your workouts, and in turn, your muscle growth.