What Are The Benefits Of b12 For Bodybuilding? An Ultimate Guide

Most Americans reach the daily recommended intake for vitamin B12. Those who follow a vegetarian or vegan meal plan may need to supplement since the vitamin is most abundant in animal foods.

Vitamin B12 is one of a group called the B-complex vitamins. They play several roles in your body so they’re necessary for all people. Vitamin B12 specifically may be one to pay attention to if you’re a bodybuilder.

That’s because the benefits of B12 include boosting energy levels, which is vital for completing a physical fitness routine. In fact, having enough energy increases performance, motivation, and results.

Are you a bodybuilder? Are you wondering if you should be taking more vitamin B12 to support your routine? Use this handy guide to the health benefits of vitamin B12, for your exercise routine and otherwise.

How Much B12 Do You Need?

Before you can decide if you need more vitamin B12, it’s a good idea to know what the daily intake recommendations are. Sometimes, too much is just as bad as not enough.

Both men and women should be getting 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 daily. Women who are pregnant or lactating need a bit extra and should aim to get 2.6 mcg each day.

It’s not common to be deficient in vitamin B12, but you can check with your doctor if you want to be sure. Symptoms of a deficiency include muscle weakness, heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Being low in vitamin B12 can impact your workout. After all, it’s hard to get an effective session when you’re tired, your muscles won’t cooperate, and you’re losing your breath.

Another cause of deficiency is poor absorption. If you feel you’re getting enough vitamin B12, but are still experiencing the symptoms of low levels, talk to your doctor about getting tested to find out where you’re at.

But do you need more vitamin B12 if you are a bodybuilder and you’re already getting enough? Keep reading to find out.

Benefits of B12

The health benefits of B12 complex vitamins aren’t just for bodybuilders. We’ll talk more about whether bodybuilders need additional vitamin B12 below, but for now, let’s examine why it’s so important.

As mentioned above, vitamin B12 converts your food into energy that your body uses for everyday activities, but also for your workouts.

That’s not all it does though. Vitamin B12 also plays an instrumental role in protecting your nerve fibers and promoting the healthy production of red blood cells throughout your body.

There are also benefits of vitamin B12 for skin health. Because it’s vital for healthy cell formation, adequate amounts ensure that your skin, nails, and hair are strong and hydrated.

Vitamin B12 also aids in serotonin and dopamine production. These are feel-good chemicals that boost mood, focus, and concentration. That’s great for everyday life, but also for ensuring an effective workout schedule.

Other benefits of taking B12 include better sleep and a reduced risk of developing heart disease.

Do Bodybuilders Need More Vitamin B12?

If you’ve heard anything about using vitamin B12 for a workout, chances are you’ve been misinformed in some respects.

But it also has some specific functions that make it important for fueling bodybuilding. Keep in mind that the benefits of B12 for women are the same as they are for male bodybuilders.

Because B12 aids in healthy red cell production, that means it’s necessary for getting oxygen to your muscles. When you’re engaging in bodybuilding, this is important.

With enough oxygen, your muscles can effectively convert glucose into ATP, which provides consistent energy to your body while you lift weights.

Vitamin B12 also promotes effective communication between your brain and your muscles. This ensures that you use proper form and can maintain your balance and coordination.

This communication also encourages muscle growth, which is the main goal of a bodybuilding routine.

Supplementing with Vitamin B12

If you want to ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin B12 to fuel your bodybuilding workout, using supplements is a popular way to do so.

Not only can you be sure your intake is adequate, but it’s an easy way to fill any gaps that might exist in your meal plan.

Supplements come in many forms, including pills, caplets, and tablets. It’s easy to add them to your routine. There isn’t an upper intake level for B12 so you can exceed the daily intake recommendations without risk.

Though you don’t need extra vitamin B12 as a bodybuilder, it does make sense to be aware of how much you’re getting so you can watch for signs of a deficiency. Check out https://www.wilsonsupplements.com/ for good options.

Always talk to your doctor before you add any supplements to your bodybuilding routine, especially if you take any other supplements or medications.

Vitamin B12 Injections

Some athletes rave about vitamin B12 injections for boosting energy levels and helping them power through a workout. But are they really necessary?

While a vitamin B12 injection isn’t vital for enhancing your bodybuilding routine, it can be beneficial if you have a deficiency. However, if you’re intake is adequate, they likely won’t provide any additional benefits.

B12 injections might be a good choice for you if you can’t stomach taking pills, but you need to increase your intake. It’s best to talk to your doctor before adding a B12 injection to your bodybuilding routine.

How to Use Vitamin B12 for Bodybuilding

The easiest way to ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin B12 to support your bodybuilding routine is to eat a varied diet. The more foods you eat, the more nutrients you’re getting regularly.

If you are deficient for any reason or you want to explore the effects of boosting your intake, be sure you follow dosage instructions. These can be found on the bottle of supplements or your doctor can prescribe a dose.

As with anything, consistency is important. Your body stores vitamin B12 in your liver so a skipped dose or a few days of not eating well won’t deplete your levels.

However, sticking with a routine is the best way to get the most out of it. That includes your supplementation and your bodybuilding workout schedule.

There’s little evidence to support a dose of B12 immediately before a workout so don’t worry about taking your supplement as you arrive at the gym. As long as you’re taking it each day, the timing won’t affect your workout.

Foods with Vitamin B12

While supplementation may be a viable option for you, your diet can also help satisfy the daily intake requirements for vitamin B12.

The vitamin is most abundant in animal foods. In fact, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may need to supplement with B12 simply because you are likely not getting what you need from your diet.

Animal liver is the best source of the nutrient. Like humans, animals store vitamin B12 in their liver so eating it is a fantastic way to boost your intake.

However, if you don’t like liver, there are plenty of other options available. Beef, pork, and chicken are other great choices. Clams, sardines, tuna, trout, and salmon also contain adequate amounts.

Milk and other dairy foods are also rich in vitamin B12. That includes yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese.

Eggs are another premier source of vitamin B12. You might also look for foods fortified with the nutrient. Cereal and yeast are great choices.

Again, the best way to be sure you’re satisfying your nutritional requirements is to eat a varied diet. That means including plenty of foods from each food group.

In addition to being conscious of your vitamin B12 intake, your healthy bodybuilding diet should also include other important nutrients.

You’ll need enough calories to fuel your workouts without losing weight. You’ll also need adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Working with a dietician is a good way to create the right meal plan for your needs.

Healthy Bodybuilding Routine

You know what you need to fuel your bodybuilding workout, but what does that look like?

The goal is to increase your muscle size, power, and strength. That means spending time working on each of your major muscle groups regularly. The right schedule depends on your needs.

Some people focus on one area of the body each day, creating a five or six-day cycle. For example, one day is for legs, one for arms, one for the core, etc.

Other bodybuilders divide their workouts into upper body and lower body, alternating back and forth. Still, others perform a full-body workout with a rest day between.

There are many ways to create your workout routine, but the main component of making sure it’s successful is ensuring that you’re getting enough nutrients, including vitamin B12.

The Takeaway

The bottom line is that the benefits of B12 are an important part of being a healthy bodybuilder. While you don’t need to overload on the nutrient, it pays to make sure you’re getting enough.

This can be done through changes to your diet and by adding a supplement to your routine. Once you’ve optimized your levels, you may notice a difference in your workouts.

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