Why Is Vitamin B Important in Pre-workout? 

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 6, 2023
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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

  • Vitamin B is important in pre-workout because it enhances energy production and metabolism, which essential for intense physical activities.
  • Vitamin B3, B6, and B12 are particularly beneficial in workouts, aiding in energy production, red blood cell creation, and muscle recovery.
  • A 2016 National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study highlights that vitamin B12 is crucial for DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation, underscoring its importance in physical performance.
  • In my personal opinion the careful inclusion of Vitamin B in pre-workout regimes can significantly boost workout efficiency and overall health.

How Does Vitamin B Support Pre Workout Formulas?

Spilled pills

Per the study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), vitamin B supports pre-workout formulas by promoting proper metabolism and energy production [1].

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

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

The B Vitamins complex in pre-workout supplements is known to provide an additional boost of energy, enabling you to push through intense workouts with increased stamina and endurance.

By supporting efficient metabolism, B vitamins help convert the nutrients you consume into usable energy, maximizing your physical performance.

Additionally, their role in red blood cell production ensures optimal oxygen delivery to your muscles, further enhancing your overall workout capacity.

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)

As insights from a 2016 study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states, 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 for weight loss 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.

As a 2012 study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states, vitamin B6 plays an important role in the metabolic pathways required for exercise [5].

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

The National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) 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

According to a 2016 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, vitamin B12 assists with DNA synthesis, which is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. [8].

Could B Vitamins Do Any Harm?

Top view of vitamin B

Based on our first-hand experience, we've learned that while B vitamins can be harmful in excess, their water-soluble nature means any extra is simply excreted.

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

Our investigation demonstrated that combining pre-workout supplements with B vitamins and other supplements is 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].

By being mindful of potential interactions and following recommended guidelines, you can effectively incorporate various supplements into your pre-workout routine for enhanced performance and overall well-being.

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.


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://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361498/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6727359/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257642/
  8. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4947244/
  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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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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