Energy Drinks and B Vitamins- Just the Facts, Please
Energy drinks containing vitamin B12 and other nutrients are on every shelf, promising to increase stamina, boost metabolism, and ward off every disease known to modern medicine. What’s the deal? Do they even work? Here are the bare facts about health claims with energy drinks.
Vitamin B12 is beneficial for sustaining a healthy metabolism, increasing stamina, supporting neurological health, supporting cognitive functioning, and aiding your body in delivering oxygen through healthy red blood cells.
So, it’s no wonder that many energy drink manufacturers have jumped on the B12 vitamin bandwagon, promising to help you lose weight, boost your metabolism, and rejuvenate. Is it all hype?
B12 is everywhere- almost
Vitamin B12 is in most foods that you probably eat every day. Unless you’re a vegan, then you consume adequate amounts of vitamin B12 in meat, fish, milk, cheese, and eggs.
Likewise, energy drinks containing vitamin B12 don’t necessarily provide you with more B12 than you would eat in an average day, anyways.
You can’t drink this
When people use vitamin B12 for stamina or neurological health, it’s usually because they can’t digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods, and need to supplement in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency.
Symptoms of which produce fatigue, depression, memory loss, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. (Beginning to see a connection here?)
In such cases, vitamin B12 is taken through non-dietary means, most often as vitamin B12 shots.
Not a vitamin B12 shot glass.
So yes, supplementing with vitamin B12 does help you with stamina, mental focus, and normal metabolic excellence. But to get the health benefits, trying to drink vitamin B12 is a fruitless endeavor.
“Energize-ade will rev you up!”
Does any of this sound familiar? “Drink Energiz-ade and you’ll be able to think clearer, stay alert longer, and fight off fatigue, even after hours of studying or staying up all night partying!”
That’s not a real ad, but a close approximation to what you see on most labels for energy drinks.
The other vitamin C
What’s the secret ingredient? It’s no secret, actually- it’s simple caffeine. They may flood the ingredient label with other natural ingredients like paw-paw extract, Chinese ginseng, or purified aloe juice, but rest assured, it’s the caffeine that jerks you awake and gets your heart pumping.
So, if you’ve got no objection to using caffeine to fuel stamina, then go ahead and splurge on a cold energy drink, only keep some things in mind:
The down side
You’re gonna crash. Because caffeine gives a temporary boost of stamina- one that’s gained by tweaking your nervous system, the jittery high you get is temporary, lasting at best a few hours.
And what goes up, has to come down.
Once the caffeine effect wears off, you feel fatigued and headachy. This is the standard aftereffect- one that people sometimes resolve by drinking more energy drinks.
And so the cycle of addiction continues.
“Obey your thirst!”
A lot of sports drinks deliver electrolytes, which is fancy terminology for sodium, potassium, and chloride all in one drink.
Prepare for a shocker…
It’s true that you sweat a lot while exercising, and that you need to replace those nutrients in order to avoid dehydration symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.
In that respect, energy drinks infused with electrolytes work. Know what else works?
Water, and a healthy diet. Or even just an average diet.
The truth is, if you eat food (and we’re assuming you do) and drink water, then you don’t need an energy drink to replenish those minerals excreted through perspiration.
Unless you think you need all those extra calories, sugar, and artificial ingredients, you’re better off just sticking with good old-fashioned H2O.
Please tell us…
If you consume energy drinks each day, how likely are you to stop after reading this article?
What forms of vitamin B12 do you currently use?
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
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