Lots of supplement brands boast that B12 can give you a major energy boost. But is B12 really the answer to chronic fatigue? Spoiler: Maybe! Higher levels of B12 are linked with more energy and endurance, while low levels are associated with fatigue.
Here’s how much B12 you may want to consider taking for energy. We also have the scoop on the best B12 food sources and supplements.
Yep! Thanks to its role in energy metabolism, vitamin B12 might reduce your chance of fatigue. It helps your body metabolize carbs, proteins, and fats, which your body converts into energy. But that’s not all! Vitamin B12 plays a major role in your overall health.
Vitamin B12 can help:
- improve cognitive function
- bolster the immune system
- assist in hemoglobin production
- lower your chances of certain types of anemia like B12 deficiency anemia
Experts recommend that the amount of B12 you should take depends on your age. Here’s how much you need according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- Birth–6 months: 0.4 micrograms (mcg)
- 7–12 months: 0.5 mcg
- 1–3 years: 0.9 mcg
- 4–8 years: 1.2 mcg
- 9–13 years: 1.8 mcg
- 14 and up: 2.4 mcg
FYI: The recommended daily intake (RDI) changes a bit if you’re pregnant or nursing. The NIH says that pregnant people should get 2.6 mcg a day, and chestfeeding folks should get 2.8 mcg.
What do shellfish, beef liver, and soy milk all have in common? Nope, they’re not ingredients for the newest weird and wonderful viral TikTok recipe — they’re all great sources of vitamin B12. Other B12-rich options include:
Most folks get enough B12 from their diets. But you might want to consider supplements if you’re B12 deficient. They come in gummies, capsules, nasal sprays, tablets, shots, and sublingual supplements that dissolve under your tongue. So, yeah, you’ve got mad options.
Just keep in mind, not all supplements are created equally. Those B12 energy shots at the convenience store might seem like a great idea at 2 a.m. But they might do more harm than good thanks to questionable ingredients. So, stick to high quality supplement brands that your doc recommends.
Most of the risks surrounding vitamin B12 are related to a deficiency. But still, you shouldn’t overdo it. Megadoses of vitamin B12 have been linked to acne breakouts. It can also trigger tummy troubles like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, try to keep your dosage under 2,000 mcg a day.
Vitamin B12 can help support healthy energy levels. Most people get enough vitamin B12 for energy from their food. But if you’re deficient, you can add a supplement to your diet. Just be sure you chat with your doctor about the correct dosage for your unique needs.
P.S. While B12 does play a part in your energy levels, it’s def not a cure-all. Be sure to get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and avoid stress when you can.