Workouts With Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient required to produce hemoglobin for getting oxygen to all your cells. Individuals who are deficient in vitamin B12 suffer from fatigue and weakness due to red blood cell insufficiency, but supplementation with the vitamin often corrects this issue. The reverse is not true, however, because extra vitamin B12 does not cause the formation of red blood cells in people who are not deficient in the nutrient.

Exercise with Vitamin B12

A good workout depletes energy, water and minerals. You begin to replenish these within 15 minutes by eating simple carbohydrates such as fruit or juice. But vitamins work over a longer time. If you take vitamin B12 before or after your workout, you will not notice the benefits immediately. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, two enzymes use B12 for function. One of them—methionine synthase—is important in keeping DNA and RNA from promoting cancer. The other enzyme plays a critical role in exercise by producing energy from fats and proteins. This enzyme also assists in the synthesis of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells. These processes take several hours to days to transpire. So over the long term adequate B12 is important to your workout.

Symptoms of Deficiency

Too Much Vitamin B12 Side Effects

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The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are anemia, weakness, fatigue, constipation, decreased appetite, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Difficulty in maintaining balance, depression, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue can also signal a need for vitamin B12 supplementation. If you are deficient in vitamin B12, you may not feel like keeping up your exercise regimen.

Causes of Deficiency

Deficiency in vitamin B12 can occur in vegans, athletes who restrict food intake and older people who have diminished ability to absorb the vitamin from their stomachs. You need only slightly less vitamin B12 than normal to feel the symptoms. To find out if you are deficient in vitamin B12, you must have a blood test. Women should have about 0.7 to 1.2 micrograms of the nutrient in their systems.

Correction of Deficiency

B12 Levels in Skim Milk

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Most clinical studies have concluded that vitamin supplementation is beneficial only in preventing or correcting deficiency. Supplementation can come in the form of prescription shots or gel. If your ability to absorb vitamin B12 has not been compromised, you can also correct deficiency with 1 to 2 milligram tablets bought over-the-counter.