Vitamin B12 dosage for bodybuilding & muscle growth!

The benefits of adequate levels of vitamin B12 for bodybuilding seem to be less pain, increased strength, faster muscle recovery, and more energy for strenuous workouts!

Vitamin B12 may be beneficial for muscle pain

Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause muscle pain. In fact, vitamin B12 had been used to treat pain for years. In some countries, vitamin B12 is still used as an analgesic drug. After all, vitamin B12 has neuroprotective and analgesic properties.

Furthermore, vitamin B12 may reduce or eliminate pain. Especially if it’s combined with other drugs.[1]

Moreover, vitamin B12 supplementation is 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.[2]

As, vitamin B12 deficiency is a common nutrient deficiency, you should regularly check your vitamin B12 levels.

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.[3]

Most noteworthy, vitamin B12 deficiency results in severe oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may inhibit muscle recovery.[4]

Try to consume many foods high in antioxidants in order to promote muscle recovery. Besides vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin C are also beneficial for muscle recovery.

Vitamin B12 for muscle growth

First, vitamin B12 deficiency is bad for muscle growth, as athletes can’t work out as hard as they could.

Also, 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 they transport oxygen to the lungs and muscles, and also deliver the produced CO2 to the lungs for expiration.[5]

Hence, more red blood cells can help your muscles perform better.

How much vitamin B12 should I take for bodybuilding

It seems that athletes can perform better with vitamin B12 concentrations higher than 400 pg/mL. Lower vitamin B12 concentrations may be bad for your energy levels, muscle recovery, and muscle growth.[6]

The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg. You should get higher dosages of vitamin B12, if you have vitamin B12 concentrations significantly lower than 400 pg/mL.

What foods with vitamin B12 should an athlete consume?

If you have low levels of vitamin B12, you should consume more foods high in vitamin B12. Meat, poultry (e.g. chicken), fish, milk, eggs, and dairy are the richest common foods in vitamin B12.

Plant-based foods contain negligible amounts of vitamin B12. However, there are many fortified foods with vitamin B12.

Also, you could take vitamin B12 supplements. Even extremely high dosages of 1,000 mcg are safe. Oral vitamin B12 supplements are as effective as intramuscular injections!

You can find a wide variety of vitamin B12 supplements on iHerb.

Vitamin B12 injections vs oral supplements

Intramuscular injections are effective for treating severe vitamin B12 deficiency. It’s a common practice for athletes. 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. Otherwise, injections can cause unnecessary, extremely high vitamin B12 concentrations.