The benefits of adequate levels of vitamin B12 for bodybuilding seem to be less pain, increased strength, faster muscle recovery, and more energy for intense workouts!
Vitamin B12 may be beneficial for muscle pain
For years, vitamin B12 had been used to treat pain. In some countries, vitamin B12 is also used as an analgesic drug. Vitamin B12 has neuroprotective actions and analgesic properties.
Furthermore, vitamin B12 may reduce or eliminate pain. Especially if it’s combined with other drugs.
Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may cause muscle pain. As, vitamin B12 deficiency is a common nutrient deficiency, you should check your vitamin B12 levels.
Moreover, vitamin B12 supplements are considered pretty safe with almost no risk of toxicity. So, vitamin B12 could be used as an adjunctive treatment for pain conditions. The best time to take vitamin B12 supplements is at breakfast.
Can vitamin B12 help muscles recover faster?
It seems that vitamin B12 deficiency may cause fatigue, muscle weakness, or muscle cramps. According to a 2019 study, people with vitamin B12 deficiency improved their symptoms of muscle weakness and muscle cramps, after 6 months of treatment with vitamin B12 supplements.
Most noteworthy, vitamin B12 deficiency results in severe oxidative stress. Oxidative stress inhibits muscle recovery. We need to consume lots of foods high in antioxidants, in order, to recover faster and do more intense workouts. Besides vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin C are also beneficial for faster muscle recovery.
Vitamin B12 for muscle growth
Athletes who work out for muscle growth should check regularly their vitamin B12 concentrations. Vitamin B12 deficiency seems to impair your gains, as you don’t work out as hard as you could.
Vitamin B12 is important for athletes, as it’s required for red blood synthesis and proper neurological function.
Athletes need proper synthesis of red blood cells, as a key function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen to lungs and muscles. Furthermore, red blood cells deliver the produced CO2 to the lungs for expiration.
Hence, an increased total mass of red blood cells can help your muscles perform better.
How much vitamin B12 should I take for bodybuilding
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is only 2.4 mcg. Vitamin B12 deficiency is pretty common, though. If you’re an athlete, you better check your vitamin B12 levels regularly.
It seems that athletes can perform better with vitamin B12 concentrations more than 400 pg/mL. Lower vitamin B12 concentrations may be bad for your energy levels, muscle recovery, and muscle growth.
If you have low levels of vitamin B12, you should consume more foods high in vitamin B12. Meat, fish, milk, eggs, and dairy are the richest common foods in vitamin B12. Plant-based foods contain negligible amounts of vitamin B12.
Furthermore, there are many fortified foods with vitamin B12.
Also, you could take vitamin B12 supplements. Even daily dosages up to 1,000-2,000 mcg are safe. Oral vitamin B12 supplements are as effective as intramuscular injections.
Vitamin B12 injections vs oral supplements
Certainly, intramuscular injections are effective for treating severe vitamin B12 deficiency. It’s a common practice among athletes to be injected with vitamin B12.
Athletes shouldn’t be injected with vitamin B12 without the advice of their health care provider, though.
Intramuscular injections may result in vitamin B12 concentrations of over 1000 pg/mL within a week! Furthermore, according to studies, intramuscular injections can result in almost 3000 pg/mL in just 4 weeks!
Hence, injections of vitamin B12 in athletes should only be applied in acute cases. In another case, injections can cause unnecessary extremely high vitamin B12 concentrations.