All B Vitamins are useful to boost energy as they help convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins into ATP, which supplies all the cells within the body with energy (4).
B Vitamins are water soluble which means that excess is removed from the body via urine. Therefore, it is rare to overdose, but not impossible.
It is important to receive B Vitamins daily as the body cannot store excess for later use. By taking a Vitamin B Complex (which includes all of the eight B Vitamins) you can prevent deficiency and any side effects or health problems that may develop due to B Vitamin deficiency.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, normal functioning of the nervous system, psychological and heart function.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal testosterone levels, vision and protection of cells from oxidative stress. Furthermore, the maintenance of normal iron metabolism, normal red blood cells and normal skin.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal psychological function and maintenance of normal skin.
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism and a reduction in tiredness and fatigue, normal mental performance and the normal synthesis of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, normal functioning of the nervous and immune system and normal psychological function. Regulation of hormonal activity, normal red blood cell formation and normal protein synthesis.
- Vitamin B7 (Biotin) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal psychological function, normal metabolism and normal hair and skin.
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) contributes to the normal function of the immune system, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, normal psychological function and has a role in the process of cell division and normal blood formation. It is mostly known for its role in maternal tissue growth in pregnant women.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, normal functioning of the nervous and immune system and normal formation of red blood cells. It also contributes to normal psychological function and has a role in the process of cell division.
Thiamine is needed in the body for growth, development, cellular function and energy.
You can find it naturally in enriched rice/noodles, fortified breakfast cereals, pork, trout, black beans, sunflower seeds, yoghurt and corn.
NRV: The recommended daily intake is 1.1mg.
Deficiency symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, irritability, nerve damage, tingling, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting and delirium (3).
Riboflavin is needed in the body for healthy blood cells, healthy metabolism, growth and skin and eye health.
It has been linked to a reduction in headaches and migraines, prevention of anaemia, offering defence against cancer and the prevention of neurological diseases.
You can find it naturally in beef liver, dairy products, spinach, almonds, tomatoes, eggs, lamb, quinoa, lentils, mushrooms, tahini, salmon and kidney beans.
Deficiency is associated with anaemia, fatigue, nerve damage, slow metabolism, lip sores, skin inflammation, inflamed throat, mouth and tongue and changes in mood (increased signs of anxiety and depression).
Nutrient Reference Value: 1.4mg (4).
Niacin helps improve cholesterol levels, may reduce the risk of heart disease, supports brain function and promotes joint health. It also helps prevent impotence and has been used to treat pellagra.
Signs of deficiency include pellagra, mucous membrane swelling, skin problems, digestive disturbances and brain impairments.
Natural food sources are chicken, liver, tuna, turkey, salmon, sardines, beef, peanuts, peas, rice, mushrooms, avocado, sweet potatoes and asparagus
NRV: 16mg (5).
Pantothenic Acid is believed to balance blood sugar levels, reduce bad cholesterol, lower high blood pressure and minimise nerve damage. It supports cardiovascular health, improves mental performance, aids wound healing and helps fight acne.
Natural sources can be found in chicken liver, sunflower seeds, avocados, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, salmon, lentils, corn, tomatoes, eggs and cauliflower.
Fatigue, depression, irritability, insomnia, stomach pains, vomiting, muscle cramps and upper respiratory infections are symptoms of deficiency.
NRV: 6mg (6).
Pyridoxine is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous and immune systems healthy. It is also important for balancing levels of homocysteine.
Food sources include chicken, fish, turkey, potatoes, chickpeas, bananas and fortified cereals.
Deficiency can cause heart disease and stroke, morning sickness, premenstrual syndrome and anaemia.
NRV: 1.4mg (7).
Biotin helps to keep your nervous system healthy, has been used when treating type 2 diabetes and is a crucial nutrient during pregnancy for foetal development.
You can find it naturally in eggs, organ meats, nuts, legumes, wholegrains and cereals, cauliflower, banana and mushrooms.
Deficiency is characterised by hair loss or thinning, high cholesterol, rashes and heart problems.
NRV: 50ug (8).
Folic Acid aids in cell division and DNA synthesis, especially its role in preventing neural tube and birth defects.
It may help in cases of depression and Alzheimer's disease as it improves cognitive function. It also supports bone health and fights restless leg syndrome.
Deficiency causes fatigue, headaches, mouth sores, heart problems and increases the risk of spina bifida.
Natural food sources are legumes, fruits and vegetables, fortified flours, pastas, breads and rice, spinach, asparagus, avocados, beans and liver.
NRV: 200ug (9).
Lastly, B12 supports mood, thyroid function, is involved in DNA synthesis, memory, adrenal gland support and reproductive health.
Pernicious anaemia, chronic fatigue, lack of focus, tension in muscles, mood swings, infertility, digestive issues, liver damage and hypothyroidism are associated with deficiency.
Deficiency can lead to long-term effects such as asthma, depression, kidney disease, memory loss, migraines, MS, neuropathy, shingles and tinnitus.
Liver, sardines, mackerel, lamb, salmon, feta cheese, beef and eggs are natural sources.
Probiotic supplements and probiotic rich foods also help increase the bodies production of B12.
NRV: 2.5ug (10).
So Which B Vitamin?
Not one single B Vitamin can be chosen to supply the body with energy. It is recommended to take a dietary supplement. Even if you are eating a healthy diet, the absorption of B Vitamins from food may be affected by digestive problems or age.
Therefore, it is best to take B complex vitamins as they are formulated to ensure the correct amount of each B vitamin is included to be most beneficial for your body.
HealthAid even has a Vegan B Complex.
- Benefits of Vitamin B12: The Energy Vitamin! | HealthAid
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) | HealthAid
- Health Benefits of Biotin | HealthAid
- Health Benefits of Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) - HealthAid Supplements
- Which Vitamin B Gives You Energy - ReNue Rx
- Vitamin B Complex Benefits — Nutravita
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Deficiency Symptoms and Treatment (healthline.com)
- Vitamin B2 Benefits, Roles, Foods, Supplements and Dosage - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Niacin Side Effects vs. Benefits: 9 Reasons You Need Vitamin B3 - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Benefits, Deficiency, Side Effects - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Vitamin B-6 - Mayo Clinic
- Health Benefits of Biotin: What Does the Science Say? (healthline.com)
- Folic Acid Benefits, Deficiency, Foods, Side Effects, More - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Images: Image by gpointstudio on Freepik Image by Freepik
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