The year has just begun, but you may already be needing another vacation. If you feel especially sluggish throughout your day, you aren't alone. One survey cited by the National Safety Council found that about three out of five adults in the US reported feeling more tired during the pandemic due to disrupted routines, long working hours and endless video meetings.
Extreme fatigue can be caused by a multitude of issues like overworking yourself, lack of sleep or not eating balanced meals. However, if you're constantly fatigued throughout the day or have noticed shortness of breath, pale or yellowish skin, mental fog, muscle weakness or personality changes, you may have a vitamin B deficiency.
B vitamins are vital for our energy throughout the day, and are often included in energy supplements. Whether you suspect you may have a vitamin B deficiency, aren't gettingor are missing other essential energy vitamins, an added supplement might be right for you.
Here is what you need to know.
Vitamins and nutrients that boost energy
In addition to coffee, tea or energy drinks, certain vitamins that can help boost energy. These natural vitamins include but aren't limited to:
- Vitamin Bs: All eight B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, folate and B12) are responsible for helping the body process energy from food.
- Vitamin C: Aids in energy production in the mitochondria of our cells.
- Magnesium: Aids in the production and use of energy molecules (ATP).
- Iron: Essential in the production of hemoglobin and transportation of oxygen.
If your diet lacks these vitamins and you are experiencing fatigue, you may benefit from an added supplement. Always consult a doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
We reviewed a number of supplements with these key vitamins for energy, along with their prices, brands, ingredients and consumer reviews. Here are our five picks for the best energy vitamins.
Dosage: 1 tablet, daily with a meal
Nature's Bounty has over 50 years of experience in the vitamin industry and is a brand that we consistently choose and trust. Its products are non-GMO and contain no artificial colors, flavors, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, yeast or fish. One tablet of its Super B Complex supplements contains 60 mg of vitamin C, 25 mg of thiamin (vitamin B1), 20 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 25 mg of niacin (vitamin B3), 5 mg of vitamin B6, 400 mcg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 100 mcg of vitamin B12, 1,000 mcg of biotin (vitamin B7) and 5.5 mg of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Other ingredients include vegetable cellulose, calcium carbonate and 2% or less of silica, sodium citrate, vegetable glycerin, vegetable magnesium stearate and vegetable stearic acid.
These supplements contain high percentages of your daily value of vitamin Bs. Speak with your doctor before adding any vitamins to your daily routine, as you may already be getting enough vitamin B in your diet.
- Contains folic acid and vitamin C in addition to eight types of vitamin B
- Not expensive, great price for its high potency
- B vitamins are known for not tasting great
- Due to high potency, speak with doctor before starting
Dosage: 1 tablet, daily
One a Day refers to its serving suggestion. One tablet of its energy multivitamin contains 1,050 mcg of vitamin A, 60 mg of vitamin C, 10 mcg of vitamin D, 10.1 mg of vitamin E, 25 mcg of vitamin K, 3 mg of thiamin (vitamin B1), 3.4 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 40 mg of niacin (vitamin B3), 4 mg of vitamin B6, 400 mcg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 12 mcg of vitamin B12, 300 mcg of biotin (vitamin B7), 10 mg of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 250 mg of calcium, 9 mg of iron, 150 mcg of iodine, 40 mg of magnesium, 15 mg of zinc, 45 mcg of selenium, 2 mg of copper, 2 mg of manganese, 100 mcg of chromium, 25 mcg of molybdenum and 90 mg of caffeine.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, be aware that one multivitamin tablet has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
- Has 23 different vitamins and nutrients
- Low price point
- A bottle only contains 50 tablets
- One tablet contains 90 mg of caffeine
Dosage: 1 softgel, daily with a meal
Nature Made is another trusted vitamin brand. Its ingredients are gluten-free and free of artificial flavors, dyes and preservatives. One softgel of Nature Made's Super B Complex supplements contains 1.5 mg of thiamin (vitamin B1), 1.7 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 20 mg of niacin (vitamin B3), 2 mg of vitamin B6, 665 mcg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 6 mcg of vitamin B12, 300 mcg of biotin (vitamin B7) and 10 mg of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Other ingredients include soybean oil, gelatin, dibasic calcium phosphate, glycerin, yellow beeswax, rapeseed lecithin, and added colors.
These supplements contain beeswax and therefore, are not suitable for those following a vegan diet.
- Contains eight different kinds of vitamin B
- Small pill size and easy to swallow
- One of the more expensive on this list
- Not truly vegan
Dosage: 2 capsules
Two capsules of its Raw B-Complex supplements contain 5 mg of thiamin (vitamin B1), 10 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 45 mg of niacin (vitamin B3), 10 mg of vitamin B6, 450 mcg of folate (vitamin B9), 133 mcg of vitamin B12, 325 mcg of biotin (vitamin B7) and 45 mg of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). What makes Garden of Life supplements unique is that they often include raw blends of organic materials. The B-Complex supplements contain two -- a 360 mg of raw organic fruit and vegetable blend and a 60 mg raw probiotic and enzyme blend.
Keep in mind that the two strains of probiotics included in the enzyme blend are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Lactobacillus plantarum. Those two specific strains are not the most well-known or used for gut health. If you are looking for help your gut, consider a supplement that is solely a probiotic.
- Raw organic fruit and vegetable blend
- Raw probiotic and enzyme blend
- The most expensive on this list
- Supplements are not shipped cold, therefore probiotic blend is not as potent
Dosage: 2 gummies
The cherry-flavored Vitafusion Extra Strength B12 vitamins are the simplest on this list. The supplements only contain B12. In addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free and free of artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup or synthetic dyes, the vitamins won a 2022 ChefsBest Excellence award for its taste. Two gummy vitamins contain 3,000 mcg of vitamin B12, as well as tapioca syrup, sugar, water, gelatin and two percent or less of a blend of oils (coconut and palm) with beeswax, citric acid, lactic acid, natural flavor, pectin and sodium citrate.
If you have a nut allergy, be aware that these vitamins contain tree nuts (coconut). Also, they're processed in a facility with products that contain egg, fish, shellfish, soy and tree nuts.
- Great if you hate swallowing pills and they taste great
- Least expensive
- Contains 3 g of added sugar per serving
- Only has vitamin B12
Energy vitamins FAQs
What vitamin provides the most energy?
The eight B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, folate and B12) provide the most energy, as they aid in cell metabolism, help the body transform carbohydrates and fats into energy and carry energy-nutrients around the body.
Is it better to take B12 or B complex?
B12 and B complex are both very important. However, with B12 supplements, you are only getting one B vitamin, and with B complex supplements, you are intaking all eight B vitamins. If you lack B vitamins from your diet, consider a B complex vitamin. If you are B12 deficient, a B12 supplement may be better for you.
Does B12 give you energy right away?
As much as we wish this were true, it is not. Taking a B12 supplement or any vitamin B supplement will not give you energy right away like a cup of coffee. Instead, it could take a few weeks of taking B12 regularly until it increases your energy levels.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.