Although you can follow different avenues to boost your energy levels, vitamins, consumed through food and supplements, may be among the safest. B-complex vitamins and vitamin D have proved useful in staving off fatigue and promoting healthy energy levels. Each of these vitamins can work together to provide maximum results, for increased energy levels, without the negative side-effects associated with many stimulants and energy supplements.
B-complex vitamins consist of a combination of eight different B vitamins: B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9 and B-12. All of these B vitamins help the body convert food into fuel. In addition, B vitamins help form red blood cells, which are used to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Without oxygen, there is no energy.
The role of B vitamins in unlocking the energy within calories is what provides you with energy. The body requires vitamin B-1 to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a substance required by every cell in the body for energy. While each B vitamin has its own functions, you need to consume all of them in proper amounts to make them more effective. As an example, your body needs B-6 in order to absorb vitamin B-12.
B-12 may be the most well-known of all the B vitamins for its role in increasing energy levels. The National Institutes of Health notes that B-12 is used for boosting mood, energy and concentration. Vitamin B-12 deficiency, on the other hand, is characterized by low energy conditions, including fatigue and weakness, among other health concerns. B-12 is not found in plants. It must be obtained from animal products such as meat, eggs, poultry and dairy. B-12 can also be obtained though supplements and injections for those who are deficient.
Newcastle University reports that vitamin D is necessary for efficient muscle function and for boosting energy levels. Vitamin D is produced in the skin when it's exposed to sunlight. There are few foods that contain vitamin D, and they include fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and some fortified foods. The good news is that if you aren't able to get regular sun exposure, vitamin D levels can be effectively boosted using supplements. Newcastle University conducted a study that showed that supplementation with vitamin D helps boost energy levels from within the cells.
Vitamin B-12 has the potential to react with some medications, and there are particular medications that may affect B-12 levels. Groups with the highest risk for being deficient in B-12 include older adults, individuals with pernicious anemia or gastrointestinal disorders, those who've undergone gastrointestinal surgery and vegetarians. The American Dietetic Association recommends supplemental vitamin B-12 for vegetarians and vegans.
- National Institutes of Heath: Office of Dietary Supplements: B12
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B1
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B6
- Medicine Plus: Vitamin B12
- Medicine Plus: B Vitamins
- Harvard Health Publications: Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Be Sneaky, Harmful
- Newcastle University: Vitamin D Proven to Boost Energy – From Within the Cells