Want more energy without the added sugar and caffeine and crash later on? A B-Complex supplement may be the answer for you.
Though many drinks on store shelves claim they give you energy, they typically contain caffeine so you temporarily feel “awake.” But, a food or beverage that really provides more energy must have calories, typically from carbohydrates and fats – the two primary sources of energy in our diets. In addition to calories, there is another necessary component to the energy equation – B vitamins
The B vitamins help convert carbohydrates and fats into energy your body can use to move, think and perform. In addition, certain B vitamins help form red blood cells – the cells that carry oxygen to tissues throughout your body.
B vitamins are prevalent in our diets. They are found in a wide variety of protein-rich foods including fish, chicken, meat, eggs and dairy foods. Leafy green vegetables, beans and peas also contain certain B vitamins. In addition, some cereals and breads are fortified with B vitamins (look at the Nutrition Facts panel to see which B vitamins a cereal contains; if none are listed then the cereal probably isn’t fortified). And while B vitamins are prevalent in the diet, you need to consume them on a consistent basis because there’s only one that is stored in the body – B12. The rest are water-soluble meaning that they leave the body in your urine.
So how do you know if you need more B vitamins? You may not know unless you have a registered dietitian take a thorough look at your diet and determine which nutrient-rich foods you aren’t eating on a consistent basis or by having your blood levels checked by a doctor. Keep in mind that most physicians will only test for folate and B12.
Another clue may come from your overall energy levels. If you are dragging from day to day, you may not be getting enough of certain B vitamins.
Will taking a B complex supplement help? If your intake of certain B vitamins is below recommended daily values than yes, a supplement may help. Or if you have certain conditions or have had surgery that causes decreased absorption of key nutrients like B12 and folic acid, a supplement may be needed. Consult with your healthcare professional to be sure.