1. What is Vitamin B-12?
Vitamin B-12 is something people in general, and particularly athletes, should consider taking. As we age, our bodies and their abilities weaken. We can’t absorb nutrients as easily and we become more prone to exhaustion and feelings of weakness -- that’s just human science. B-12 is essential for the development of red blood cells. With a deficiency in red blood cells, a person often starts to feel tired and unable to perform to the best of their abilities. If you lack B-12 and are not obtaining other essential nutrients through food consumption, you become susceptible to grogginess and your stamina/endurance worsens. Additionally, your body’s oxygen capacity decreases, causing you to not be able to think or react as quickly -- something that can massively affect those split-second in-game decisions.
2. How else does Vitamin B-12 benefit your body and athletic performance?
Vitamin B-12 has many other benefits -- and on the flip side, if not consumed regularly, particularly as you age, a lack of this vitamin can cause skin numbness and tingling, poor mental health, as well as decreased cognitive function, and poor coordination. There are no required routine checks on B-12 levels, and that is why it is recommended that you consistently check up on your B-12 levels and nutrition with your doctor. Properly maintaining your B-12 levels increases general wellness and athletic performance. The consumption of B-12 helps to improve energy levels and makes for a quicker, easier recovery from workouts, training sessions, and everyday life.
3. What can be done?
The best possible scenario would be to detect any lack of B-12 at an early stage by consulting with a medical professional. A lot of early symptoms can go unnoticed, so make sure to pay attention to your body and mind, and to do your research! Depending on your age, adjusting your diet to consume whole foods with the nutrients you need can make a world of difference. Because B vitamins are water-soluble, the excess will be excreted from the body. That is why it is important to maintain a good daily diet that is rich in foods containing B vitamins.