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Vitamin B: Health Benefits, Foods, and Uses

Curious about vitamin B? Discover the importance of vitamin B complex, common symptoms of a vitamin B deficiency, and the variety of vitamin B benefits.

November 8, 2022

Vitamin B: Health Benefits, Foods, and Uses

Curious about vitamin B? Discover the importance of vitamin B complex, common symptoms of a vitamin B deficiency, and the variety of vitamin B benefits.

November 8, 2022

Vitamin B: Health Benefits, Foods, and Uses

Curious about vitamin B? Discover the importance of vitamin B complex, common symptoms of a vitamin B deficiency, and the variety of vitamin B benefits.

November 8, 2022

One of the best ways to be ready for the world’s metaphorical curve balls is to always strive to be your best self through regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, and regular downtime to unplug and rejuvenate. 

For many of us, that is a perennial challenge—no matter what is going on in the world. Sometimes you need a little something extra to get out of bed in the morning, to get through your workout or even just to get through your day. 

Dietary supplements containing B vitamins might be able to help. But, what does vitamin B do and how can you add it into your diet? Let’s find out.

What is B complex? 

You’re likely familiar with the term vitamin B, but there are actually eight different B vitamins. Together they make up the vitamin B complex: 

  • B1, or thiamine
  • B2, or riboflavin
  • B3, or niacin
  • B5, or pantothenic acid
  • B6 , or  pyridoxine
  • B7, or biotin
  • B9, or folate/folic acid
  • B12, or cyanocobalamin

What does vitamin B do?  

While each of the B vitamins has its own unique functions in the body, the three most noteworthy vitamins are B6, B12, and folate. Why, you ask? Vitamin B6 and B12 may help support brain function by lowering levels of homocysteine. Vitamin B6 is also an important nutrient during pregnancy, as it may help to reduce nausea.

Folate is also an important vitamin during pregnancy, as it may help to assist in healthy development of a baby’s brain and spine. That’s why medical professionals typically monitor folate intake within the first trimester when development is happening most rapidly.

Foods High in Vitamin B  

The B vitamins are among the 13 essential vitamins, which means your body needs them to function properly. So, how can you naturally add them into your diet? Foods high in vitamin B include:

  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Meats
  • Whole grains

While healthy eating is a seamless way to add these vitamins into your routine, you can also use supplements to help fill any gaps that may be in your diet or provide targeted support for energy, fatigue or focus.   

How much vitamin B do you need? 

Now that you know what vitamin B complex is (and what it’s comprised of), you might be wondering how much you need to consume to support your body. For adults 19 and older, Health Canada recommends the following vitamin B complex intake:









Amount Per Day for Females

1.1 mg

1.1 mg

14 mg

5 mg

1.3-1.5 mg

30 mcg

400 mcg

2.4 mcg

Amount Per Day for Males

1.2 mg

1.3 mg

16 mg

5 mg

1.3-1.7 mg

30 mcg

400 mcg

2.4 mcg

Signs of vitamin B deficiency  

After all this talk of nutrients, you might be wondering if you have a vitamin B deficiency. You can read about some common signs, but, we recommend seeking professional medical attention if you notice any irregular symptoms.

Vitamin B benefits 

We know what you’re thinking – what is vitamin B good for and how can it support your daily routine? Let’s take a closer look at how vitamin B complex benefits your body.

1. Fight fatigue

Whether you’re clocking in long hours at work or watching the kids all day and night, you might start to hit a wall in the morning, afternoon, or early evening. This might leave you needing vitamins for energy.

B vitamins may be able to help because they support the production of energy in your body’s cells. We can specifically thank B1, B2, B3, and B5 for that. Therefore, try fighting fatigue before it starts by taking a vitamin B supplement to start your day. B vitamins help your body unlock energy from the foods you eat to proactively block fatigue before it sets in. 

Look for one with extended-release features. Your body can only absorb so much vitamin B at one time; the excess is flushed out of your system. 

Nutrilite™ Vitamin B Dual–Action, for example, includes a technology that slowly releases nutrients into your system so you get a steady stream throughout the day. The dark green side of the Nutrilite™ tablet quickly releases B2 and B12 for immediate absorption, while the light green side slowly and steadily releases the remaining six B vitamins over the course of eight hours. 

2. Power your workout 

Regular exercise is key to optimal health, but let’s face it: Starting that workout each day is doubly difficult if your energy level is zero. You can barely motivate yourself to get out of your chair let alone go for a run or complete some other fitness routine. 

So, where does B complex come in to play? As mentioned earlier, B vitamins can promote energy production in the body, which is why they’re believed to help power your workouts.

Consider something designed to get you moving, such as XS™ Intense Pre-Workout Boost. Not only does it have a blend of beta alanine and rhodiola rosea for increased energy and focus, it also has a mega dose of B vitamins to give you an intense boost of energy support and the caffeine equivalent of a cup coffee, maybe just enough to open your eyes.

The combination delivers extra energy to help you power through your workout and perform better by fighting fatigue and boosting your endurance.

3. Find your focus 

If you’re in the middle of a big project and find your mind more interested in the squirrel out the window or one of the many tempting tabs open in your browser, you might be frantically searching for suggestions on how to improve focus.

While some quick stretches or a few minutes of cardio can help, studies have found that vitamin B12 can support concentration and other cognitive functions.

4. Work hard, play hard 

Are you the work hard, play hard type? Sometimes you need a little help to bounce back from playing so hard before you get to work. Or maybe you were just burning the midnight oil on work and have to do it all again the next day. 

Those mornings call for a little extra help – and B vitamins can help by providing you with an additional dose of energy support.

5. Give your productivity a boost 

Those high-calorie caffeinated beverages that call your name around midafternoon seem to hit the spot. But are they really what you need? All those sweet syrups can put you at risk of a major sugar crash, which does nothing to boost your productivity. 

We already learned that B vitamins can support focus and cognitive function, so it should come as no surprise that they can also give you a productivity boost. Think about it, the more you’re able to sit down and concentrate on the task at hand, the quicker you’ll complete it and the more tasks you’ll be able to finish.

Change up your afternoon ritual by swapping a vitamin B energy drink for your regular coffee or tea option. XS™ Energy Drink delivers a dose of caffeine for an energy boost along with herbs and plenty of B vitamins. But it doesn’t have the high sugar content associated with other caffeinated alternatives. It’s sugar-free and has only 10 calories. 

Get started with B vitamins

When it comes to vitamin B, health benefits range from better energy levels to stronger work performance. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs. To read more tips and tricks about health and nutrition and find out what vitamins give you energy, check out more blogs at Amway Discover.