These days, its seems that everywhere I turn I see some supplement or energy drink companies pushing B vitamins as the miracle cure for more energy. Are you tired after you eat lunch? Have you’ve been up all night cramming for your final or partying? Why don’t you drink some red bull, or how about an energy shot? or if you’re really brave (and really dumb) you can even get B-12 injections!
The truth is that B Vitamins do NOT give you energy. They do, however, assist in the metabolic process by helping convert the food we eat into adenosine triphosphate, more commonly known as ATP. ATP is the usable form of energy in the cell. So, the connection is made that the more B vitamins we consume, the more energy we will have, and the more we can work/study/party without ever having to rest. Yes! Well, this would only be true if one was actually deficient in B vitamins.
In reality, B vitamins -riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), B12, pyroxidine (B6), niacin, and folate are abundant in American’s diets. They are found in commonly consumed foods such as whole grains, cereals, tortillas, meats, poultry, milk, and vegetables- even potatoes! and I know that Americans love them some french fries! Many foods these days that aren’t even considered very “healthy” are loaded with B vitamins such as kids sugary cereals. These foods are generally “enriched” meaning the vitamins have been striped from the product during the processing and then put back in. Nonetheless, they are in there, and you are paying a lot less for 1 cup of that cereal than you are paying for “energy drinks.” The moral of the story is get your B vitamins from food, not drinks/ supplements.
So you may say, but Heather, I feel soo energetic after I drink my Go Girl! Well, let me tell you, that’s because along with the B vits in your drink their is a ton of caffeine. Most energy drinks have about the same amount of caffeine as coffee, if not more. Caffeine is a cardiac stimulant which may lead to increased heart rate and a feeling of alertness or more energy. So, if you absolutely need to stay up, I would reach for a cup of coffee before an energy drink; at least you’ll get some freaking antioxidants (I’ll discuss these later).
One last thing, a few years ago my college roommate (who I absolutely love) started taking a B vitamins supplement which gave you amounts of the vitamins which greatly exceeded the RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance. Then she said to me “Heather, my pee is neon green, it almost seems like its glowing.” Her urine was green because she was pissing out about $20 worth of B-vitamins that her body could not absorb because you cannot absorb vast quantities of vitamins at one time.
What are your thoughts on energy drinks? Have you ever peed green? If you have any supplement/ vitamin questions I would love to answer them!
For some trustworthy info on B- vitamins look here