What is it? Why do you need it? How much is enough?
I’ve heard a few questions on Vitamin B-12 lately, so now is as good a time as ever to put this seemingly obscure, but very important vitamin on your radar.
Vitamin B-12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is a co-enzyme, which means it acts as a middle-man in different roles throughout the body: making DNA, keeping your red blood cells healthy, and keeping blood homocysteine levels low to avoid heart disease. Quite the little powerhouse.
(Below is my brother-in-law, running on B-12 in Zion)
It is not fuel itself, therefore, it cannot give you “energy” (despite energy drink claims). However, it does allow the body to actually USE fuel (carbohydrate and fat) to give you that energy.
You need only 2.4 mcg (micrograms) per day, whether you are male or female. It is found in all meats and dairy products, so when eating lower on the food chain, this is a vitamin to properly plan for. Luckily, doing so is easy and important to avoid risk of deficiency (anemia from messed up red blood cells and fatigue from poor energy conversion).
To fulfill your B-12 requirements for one day, B-12 sources founds low on the food chain would be 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal (aka cereal from a box) and 2 cups of soy milk to meet your daily requirements.
Otherwise, 2 eggs per day with 2 cups of cow's milk OR 3 cups of cow’s milk per day would satisfy your 2.4 mcg.
Skip the energy drinks, and rely on the basics of wholesome food. Food is fuel. What are you running on?