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Why Is Vitamin B Important in Pre-workout? 

Donald Christman
Published by Donald Christman
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 27, 2022

Almost all pre-workout formulas contain the same main ingredients - creatine, BCAA, L-citrulline, caffeine, and beta-alanine.

They all have different roles - to improve energy, endurance, vasodilatation, etc. And I always advise my clients to supplement their training with pre-workouts because they improve motivation and output in the gym.

But some of them recently asked me if vitamin B is good in the pre-workout supplement, so I gathered with my team at TotalShape and a resident nutrition expert to conduct one-month-long intensive research on this topic.

Here's what we found out.

Quick Summary

  • Formulas usually contain B3, B6, and B12 - the B vitamins playing an essential role in boosting energy level, muscle growth, and muscle recovery.
  • B Vitamins are water-soluble, so there is a rare chance for side effects to happen.
  • It is entirely safe to combine formulas containing B vitamins with any other supplement.

How Does Vitamin B Support Pre Workout Formulas?

Spilled pills

Vitamin B supports pre-workout formulas by promoting proper metabolism and energy production [1].

B Vitamins are vital for everyday normal body function, like cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, and brain function.

There are eight different types of B Vitamins, and most of them have various effects on the body.

B vitamins' typical roles are transforming proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into cellular energy.

They also induce new red blood cell creation.

Besides that, B vitamins are essential for proper brain function and focus, cardiovascular system health, and hormone production.

B Vitamins complex reduces dehydration-induced fatigue and helps your body recover during demanding exercise performance.

These traits make B vitamins an excellent fuel for boosting our muscular engine before exercise.

What Types of B Vitamins Are The Best for Workout?

Yellow supplements on table

The best types of B vitamins for workouts are B3 (Niacin), B6 (Pyridoxal), and B12 (Cobalamin).

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 in formulas supports cellular energy production and glycogen preservation [2]. Some studies also suggest vitamin B3 increases adiponectin, a fat-cell hormone that promotes fat loss [3].

Niacin may help in Insulin-like Growth Hormone (IGF-1) creation, leading to faster muscle recovery and fat breakdown [4].

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal)

Vitamin B6 helps in workout performance by supporting the creation of new red blood cells, giving more oxygen to the body.

It keeps muscles robust, assisting them in absorbing sufficient amino acids and promoting protein synthesis [5].

One study says vitamin B6 may aid in muscle vascularity and testosterone synthesis, which leads to faster muscle growth and recovery. [6].

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is also known as the "energy vitamin" as it supports cellular energy production [7].

Vitamin B12 is essential for protein breakdown and plays a role in muscle building. BCAA supplements usually have vitamin B12 as part of their formula.

"Low levels of vitamin B12, a vitamin that lies at the core of our body's ability to make DNA for new cells, form healthy red blood cells, and turn the food we eat into energy to power our metabolism, is often overlooked." - Dr. Oz, physician. 

Vitamin B12 has a paramount role in DNA synthesis and forming of red blood cells, which helps oxygen to reach the muscles, ultimately resulting in more stamina and strength [8].

Could B Vitamins Do Any Harm?

Top view of vitamin B

B Vitamins could do some harm if used in excessive dosages. Luckily, B vitamins are water-soluble nutrients, meaning any surplus dosages will be excreted through urine.

When it does occur, though, side effects can vary from mild to severe.

More than 500 mg of vitamin B3 could cause red patches on the skin. In higher amounts, it may provoke serious problems such as high sugar levels, vomiting, and even liver damage [9].

High doses of vitamin B6 may cause [10]:

  • Nerve damage and irritating skin lesions
  • Photosensitivity
  • Ataxia (poor muscle control)
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea

Excessive vitamin B12 may lead to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Itching

Most gym-goers take care of their pre-workout daily dose, so there is no need to be afraid of taking too many B vitamins through formula.

Can I Combine Pre Workout Containing B Vitamins with Other Supplements?

Different type of supplements combined

Yes, you can combine pre-workout containing B vitamins with other supplements as it is perfectly safe.

Most of the time, particular combinations may only lessen expected effects.

So in some specific situations, though, it's suggested that individuals take B vitamins and other supplements separately.

For example, in the case of vitamin C and vitamin B12, taking them simultaneously might reduce vitamin B12 absorption [11].

FAQs

Can I Take B Vitamins After Workout?

Yes, you can take B vitamins after the workout. B vitamins are a significant pre and post-exercise aid.

They will absorb amino acids boosting protein synthesis. Also, they prevent fatigue, which leads to faster muscle recovery.

Does Еxercise Deplete B Vitamins?

Yes, exercise depletes B vitamins. Some studies show that training may increase the demand for B vitamins [12].

While you work out, your sweat excretes some nutrients, including B vitamins. The more complex your workout performance is, the more nutrient depletion happens.

What's Vitamin B12 Bodybuilding Dosage?

Vitamin B12 bodybuilding dosage is still not set. Per serving, formulas range from 1.2 mcg to 50 mcg. Isolated Vitamin B12 supplements contain from 500 to 6000 mcg per serving.

Should You Take B Vitamins Before the Workout?

B vitamins could additionally increase your energy and exercise performance and promote weight loss and muscle synthesis.

But since the effectiveness of vitamin B supplements is up to everyone's bio-individuality, I’d advise you to consider some of the best pre-workout supplements currently on the market.

If you often lack motivation and energy to ramp up workout performance, these pre-workout supplements proved quite effective for my clients, both short-term and long-term.


References:

  1.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17240780/
  2.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863271/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3742781/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18187617/
  5. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/pyridoxine
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6727359/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257642/
  8. https://www.frontiersin.org/10.3389/conf.fphar.2010.60.00140/event_abstract
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3965920/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28716455/
  11. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-b12/art-20363663
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17240780/

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