What are they? How can they help me?
B vitamins regulate metabolic reactions to help release the energy in foods.
B vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. B vitamins function mainly as coenzymes, which are needed to help speed up chemical reactions in our body.
When do I use them?
Since B vitamins are water soluble and excreted in the urine, you must consume them daily, with meals and snacks.
How much do I need?
You should strive to consume 100% of the dietary reference intake (DRI) for every B vitamin daily. If you take a higher percentage, the excess will usually be eliminated in the urine. In addition, just as having 9 spark plugs in an 8-cylinder engine with provide no additional horsepower, there is no benefit to taking levels of B-vitamins above the body’s requirement.
More helpful information
Special consideration for some B vitamins may be necessary for vegans, pregnant women, or those trying to become pregnant.
Vegans should be mindful of their Vitamin B12 intake as it’s typically found only in animal products, and may require supplementation.
Folate requirements are higher for pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant, as it protects against neural tube defects.