There’s little doubt if you want to feel alive, then drinking some coffee is a quick-fix for feeling slow and lethargic.
Caffeine is a drug, after all. And it’s a drug that works well at providing a quick-hit of focus and drive.
And while caffeine is great for giving you an instantaneous jolt to pick you back up from feeling tired, it has its limitations. Some of them are harmless, whereas others could cause health complications.
For one, caffeine is addictive. You can train your body to become reliant on this stimulant, If that happens, then you know how bad it feels when you miss your first, or second cup of coffee.
There’s also the problem of it either wearing off too quickly in some individuals, or lasting too long in others.
If you’re the kind of person who finds caffeine wears off too quickly then you’re also the person who’s slurping down cup after cup just to feel the effects. Likewise, if you’re extremely sensitive to caffeine, a cup of coffee could mess up your sleep cycle for a week.
Plus, caffeine could interfere with heart health. Research shows caffeine may produce an irregular heartbeat.
Look, I’m not knocking caffeine. However, there are times when I recommend patients not to partake in it.
If you’re someone who’d like to consume less caffeine, or, you’re not able to take it for any number of circumstances, then you should try adding in more vitamin B-12 into your diet.
Why Vitamin B-12 Is the Best Substitute for Caffeine
Perhaps you’ve seen those 5-Hour Energy shots at the gas station.
One of the main ingredients in 5-hour energy shots is vitamin B-12 (along with caffeine).
Copious amounts of vitamin B-12 are added to these energy shots to help boost your body’s ability to provide clean-burning, natural energy.
The reason why vitamin B-12 is essential to the most basic energy producing processes.
And if you happen to be deficient in B-12, which as many as 50-60%% of Americans are, then your energy levels will wane.
Unlike caffeine, which reverses low-energy via its stimulant activity, correct levels of vitamin B-12 give you energy by making sure something known as the Krebs cycle operates efficiently.
The Krebs cycle helps your body produce a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). And despite what you may have heard, ATP is the real fuel your brain, heart and other cells use to stay energized.
Notice I said “stay”.
Yes, you hear all the time sugar or fat serve as the fuel for your body, and that’s true to a degree. But those nutrients are what help your body produce ATP in the first place.
The rub here is even if you have the right amount of fat or carbohydrates in your diet, if you don’t have enough B-12, you’re not going to feel the full effect of those nutrients helping you make ATP.
And you won’t remain energized from the beginning of your day until the end of it.
Hence, the need for B-12.
In addition to helping with the Krebs cycle, B-12 has a headlining role in the production of red blood cells. And, as you’ll remember, red blood cells help to transport oxygen to almost all tissue in the body (by way of oxygen attaching to hemoglobin).
Oxygen transport is fundamental for energy production, too. Your cells rely on oxygen to carry out various processes, including ATP production.
Yes, your body can make ATP without oxygen, but the more oxygen you have in your blood, the more ATP you can make and the more energy you have.
As an illustration, the people with the highest oxygen delivery systems in the world tend to be the most powerful and energetic athletes.
On the flipside (and how this could apply to you) when you’re low on B-12 it means red blood cell production is likely down, which means oxygen levels are low and you feel tired all the time.
There Are Various Forms Of B-12 So Which One Is Best?
There are various forms of B-12.
One, is superior than the other. This is especially true for a certain segment of people, who I’ll talk about in a moment.
Cyanocobalamin is the synthetic form of B-12, and it’s made in a lab. It’s what’s in most 5-Hour Energy shots and many other “energy supplements” with B-12 in them. Cyanocobalamin is cheap to make, but it’s also a relatively stable form of B-12, meaning it lasts a while on store shelves.
For some people, cyanocobalamin is all they need to restore B-12 levels. But, that’s not typically the case.
Methylcobalamin is a natural form of B-12. The problem with methylcobalamin is it’s not readily available in a variety of food sources. It’s either found in meat, or animal-based products, and that’s it when it comes to diets. This is why it’s so popular as a supplement.
So why is methylcobalamin the preferred form of B-12?
There are two reasons.
The main reason is related to what I alluded to earlier. Roughly 50-60% of people carry a genetic mutation that prevents their bodies from synthesizing vitamin B-12 from their diet efficiently. In some more severe forms of the mutation, barely any B-12 is converted.
Two other ways you may become deficient in B-12 is simply by not eating enough B-12 containing foods, or advancing in age.
The dietary aspect of B-12 deficiency is obvious.
Age, too, is an obvious aspect of deficiency. With age, your body’s methylation processes can be impeded because of a loss of hormone production, cell damage and more.
The solutions here are to eat more B-12-rich foods (red meat, eggs etc.) and/or to supplement.
When you supplement with an excess of methylcobalamin it helps to reverse deficiencies. This is true for people who simply don’t get enough via diet, or can’t convert as well owing to age, as much as it’s true for those with the MTHFR mutation.
In our office we recommend a variety of B-12 products. One of the ones I like the best is from Now Foods. It’s their Methyl-B12 5000 mcg Lozenges. The lozenges taste great, but what makes them a tremendous energy-booster is as they dissolve in your mouth the B-12 enters the bloodstream rapidly which creates a quick surge in natural-energy.
If you already take a B-12 supplement and don’t feel the “oomph” you’re looking for, or are trying to break free of a reliance on caffeine I’d suggest trying them out. One bottle should last you 2-4 months, depending on how often you decide to take lozenges.
Without a doubt vitamin B-12 supplementation can help a majority of people experience vibrant, powerful energy.
Click here or on the image below to try Now Foods Methyl-B12 5000 mcg – 120 Lozenges for yourself and see how they make you feel.