Vitamin B – The REAL Benefits

One of my favorite nods to the benefits of Vitamin B came from Christian Troy of the FX drama Nip/Tuck – when his business partner’s teenage son confides in him about his desire to have a threesome with a couple of his high school classmates, Christian, the sex-crazed plastic surgeon, gives him some key advice:

“Sure, I don’t have a problem with it. But you’d better take your B-vitamins because it’s some tiring stuff.”

This is coming from a guy with experience. He’s also a doctor, which means he probably knows nothing about B-vitamins or nutrition. As a fictional character, he has no idea what a hangover feels like nor the Ciceric friend that a bottle of B vitamins can make when it’s waiting for you on your pillow next to a bottle of warm Gatorade upon returning after a long night of debauchery. No, Christian’s knowledge of B-vitamins extends no further than the wacky minds of his writers, and I’m guessing his writers have only had threesomes with a sand wedge in their hands.

Vitamin B is actually a complex of multiple water-soluble vitamins (the only other water soluble vitamin is Vitamin C) that happen to co-exist in the same foods. They’ve been shown to bolster metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance immune and nervous system functions, promote cell growth and division and, of course, may assit in any kind of ‘tiring activity’ – use your imagination. Together, they’re a powerful force.

Foods that contain a substantial amount of B Vitamins include potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, turkey and tuna. Brewer’s yeast is one of the best sources of B vitamins.

The first question most people ask us at Fit Fuel is whether or not to take B vitamins individually or as complex (all B vitamins). Others ask if they can get everything they need through a regular multi-vitamin (which is likely to include the B vitamins). My recommendation would be to simply take a good multi-vitamin (I recommend Jay Robb multi’s, which are in gelcap form – a good thing – and contain a generous dosage of B’s) so that you have a balanced intake to fuel all of your body’s complex functions. B vitamins are chemically distinct vitamins that all play very specific roles within your body.

When you first start taking a B complex, should you choose to target this vitamin group, you’ll notice that your urine is bright yellow. This is natural – it’s your body’s way of disposing of excess vitamins. If you’re general healthy, this is inevitable. Very few people need to take extra high dosages of any Vitamin B unless they have a specific ailment. There are many people who hear that Vitamin B12 may help prevent memory loss starts so they start nailing half a bottle a day. It would probably be more effective to order one of the memory aid tools off the QVC infomercial channel, though the excess vitamins are unlikely to do you any harm unless you continue to take them for an extended period of time because you don’t look down while you’re going or you attribute your colorful stream to a copious amount of way-too-strong lemonade.

And gents – don’t bother asking your doctor about a custom B6/B12 doping to help with your performance on dual battlefronts unless his name is Christian Troy.

Copyright (c) 2007 Luke Burgis