Cobalamin is the chemical name for Vitamin B12. This essential nutrient needs to be obtained from other sources because the human body doesn’t produce it.
Dairy products, eggs, chicken, turkey, and other meats contain cobalamin. You can also get B12 and other forms of Vitamin B from supplements.
Fitness enthusiasts and athletes are not likely to be B12 deficient. However, it should still be a priority to consume an ample supply of the vitamin. Being low on B12 and other B vitamins results in low levels of energy and a loss of appetite.
Oregon State University research published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism revealed that active individuals who lack B vitamins perform poorly during high-intensity exercise.
6 Benefits Of Vitamin B12 For Weightlifting
#1Energy Production In The Body
It’s important to note that vitamin B12 does not provide an energy boost unless you have a deficiency already.
However, B12 and seven other B vitamins help the body convert food into glucose which provides energy. Additionally, B12 helps to produce elements of DNA and red blood cells. It also helps regenerate bone marrow, gastrointestinal lining, and respiratory tracts. B12 also promoted nervous system health and prevents megaloblastic anemia.
So, B12 supports the body in multiple ways that contribute to healthy energy levels despite the lack of a direct energy boost.
#2 Improves Your Cardiovascular Health
Athletes and bodybuilders need a certain organ to function at the highest level, the heart. It carries oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body, especially muscles.
Cardiovascular problems affect breathing since your lungs rely on the heart. Proper breathing is essential for high-intensity workouts.
Vitamin B12 enhances your cardiovascular health by decreasing the homocysteine levels in your blood. High levels of homocysteine are linked to the damage of the arterial lining and an increase in the likelihood of blood clots.
#3 Decreases Joint Pain
Your joints play a crucial role in helping with optimal movement. Years of weightlifting stresses the joints and causes wear and tear over time.
For example, shoulder joints experience friction and tend to compact due to the constant bench and incline presses. Overtraining and lack of proper rest also contribute to joint deterioration. Proper joint care is crucial, even if you’re young and don’t notice any pain.
Vitamin B12 provides relief and decreases inflammation for conditions that cause joint pain and stiffness such as arthritis.
#4 Better Brain Performance
It’s no secret that the brain serves as our control center – regulating your balance, focus, and mood. Therefore, a healthy brain has a direct impact on bodybuilding.
Vitamin B12 helps your brain and nervous system function normally by participating in the one-carbon cycle. This cycle allows for the production of DNA, neurotransmitters (for example, dopamine and serotonin), and myelin.
#5 Good Sleep At Night
All of us need sleep to thrive in the gym and life. Sleep aids in muscle recovery, allowing it to grow and develop. In addition, it gives you more stamina. Based on a study from Stanford University, football players who slept at least 10 hours during the night had an improvement in their average sprint time.
Healthy sleep is possible by taking B12 through food, supplements, or an injectable. You’ve probably heard of melatonin. The hormone that your brain releases to regulate sleep. B12 influences the secretion of melatonin.
#6 Healthy Complexion And Skin Healing
I mentioned how vitamin B12 is part of the DNA creation process. The fact that it plays a role in cell replication makes it an amazing vitamin for a beautiful and healthy skin.
Active individuals are so busy that sometimes they neglect to eat right and take supplements. Having healthy skin that heals properly is important to boost your self-confidence on the field or gym.
B vitamins are responsible for protein synthesis and without enough protein supply in your body – wound healing is affected.
4 Forms of Vitamin B12: Which One is the Best?
The absorption of this vitamin depends on the health of your digestive system.
The parietal cells of our gut produce gastric intrinsic factor (GIF). This intrinsic factor is largely responsible for vitamin B12 absorption. However, almost 40 percent of Americans have trouble absorbing it. This is why intramuscular injections are suitable for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts with B12 absorption issues.
The intramuscular route of delivering supplements bypass the digestive system, going directly to the bloodstream.
The absorption rate of vitamin B12 varies on its type. Below are the four types of this vitamin:
- Methylcobalamin – This form of vitamin B12 can easily be used and is the most absorbable. Methylcobalamin does not require a lot of energy for it to be absorbed. It’s the most recommended one for supplementation.
- Cyanocobalamin – A synthetic form of the vitamin, Cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule but isn’t dangerous. However, it needs the energy to be converted into its usable form.
- Hydroxocobalamin – You can commonly find this form in many food sources. It also effectively treats B12 deficiency through intramuscular injections.
- Adenosylcobalamin – Adenosylcobalamin is the least stable form of vitamin B12. This explains why you cannot find a lot of supplements that offer this form.
Vitamins are indispensable to sustain the needs of bodybuilders. Vitamin B12 offers benefits like healthy sleep, proper muscle growth, increase in energy levels, and more.
If you’re not able to supplement your diet with vitamin B12 because of some condition, injections can help. Bodybuilders without absorption problems, especially vegans, can take advantage of vitamin B12 through supplements.
Dr. Jason Phan NMD – LIVV Natural Health | Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in IV Vitamin Therapy, PRP (platelet rich plasma)/Prolotherapy Regenerative Injections, Men’s and Women’s Health, and Optimal Living.