B-complex to boost energy and well-being
B-complex is often called the energy vitamins, but it will be more true if we imagine these vitamins only as keys that unlock energy and well-being.
Many of us are confused and don’t know which individual vitamin B is needed. But no worries. The B-complex helps cover the needs for all B vitamins. There are several different types of vitamin B, and each one has a slightly different role in the body. Some vitamins work together as a group, so it’s crucial to get all of them in a good balance. A lack of one vitamin, or an increased need for it, causes an increased need for other B group vitamins.
Let’s get to know the important B group vitamins!
We know 12 B vitamins. The human body essentially needs 8 of them, which together we call the B-complex. Individual B vitamins are classified by specific names and numbers (eg B1, B2, folic acid, etc.).
Thiamine, known as vitamin B1, was one of the first organic compounds to be recognized as a vitamin in early 1930s. It is associated with the metabolism of carbohydrates and branched-chain amino acids (proteins), thus it helps release energy from food, stimulates normal appetite and supports the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Why we need the B group vitamins?
B vitamins act as coenzymes that help the body obtain energy from food, thus take care of metabolic processes (lipid metabolism, protein metabolism, sugar metabolism). The benefits of B vitamins for our health are numerous. B vitamins promote a healthy nervous system and support our body in breaking down food, so that it can use the energy as fuel. These vitamins play a vital role in skin health, liver health, red blood cell production, support the nervous system and stimulate normal appetite
A healthy and balanced diet can provide the daily intake of essential B vitamins, but they are water-soluble and therefore not stored in the body. This means that we have to constantly replace them every day. Given today’s lifestyle, the majority of diets can only be enriched by natural dietary supplements, such as B-complex.
B vitamins and exercise
B-complex in large quantities is needed by those who exercise often, do sports or lose weight. Various B vitamins play an important role in metabolism. For example, vitamin B1 supports the body to convert glucose into energy, accelerate the consumption of glycogen. Vitamin B2 can help fat burning. Vitamin B6 can work together with vitamin B1, which strengthen the muscles, to avoid muscle loss during exercise.
Vitamin B12 promotes metabolism; improves fat, sugar, and protein metabolic utilization. In addition, exercise requires a lot of water consumption, which is likely to cause loss of water soluble vitamins including B vitamins and vitamin C. And during long time aerobic exercise can increase oxidative stress, so it is very important to keep up the antioxidants intake to avoid cellular damages.
Which vitamin B is most important? It is impossible to say.
“All of them have a very important role to play,” says Roxanne Moore, a registered dietitian at the Maryland Department of Education and a representative of the American Dietetic Association. A varied, healthy diet of lean meats, colourful vegetables and whole grains usually only covers the basic needs for a proper intake of B vitamins.