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What Vitamin Gives You Energy?
  /   Dr. John Snow

What Vitamin Gives You Energy?

Adults tend to turn to things like caffeine when they need energy. Caffeine may not always be the best choice for adults, and it’s never the best choice for children. Active children participating in sports or outdoor play need healthy energy levels to score those goals. 

Vitamins (and nutrition in general) play an important role in healthy energy production. Here’s what vitamin gives you energy and how to incorporate more of this vitamin into your child’s diet. 

How Do Vitamins Help To Promote Energy?

Your body uses vitamins and minerals for almost everything. They’re an important part of maintaining a healthy body. You need to ingest a sufficient amount of each vitamin and mineral each day for your overall health, and things like metabolic health and energy production are a part of your overall health.

When your body is functioning properly, energy levels should be sufficient throughout the day. Proper diet and adequate sleep also play a significant role in the way the body makes and uses energy. Healthy, balanced choices work together to create a healthy, balanced life. 

What Is the Main Vitamin for Energy?

Most kids don’t need any help in the energy department. Kids who regularly engage in active play tend to be more energetic. Exercise helps to energize the body, creating a little perpetual motion machine. The more your child moves around, the more energy they’re likely to have.

Many vitamins work to support your metabolism, but vitamin B12 plays the biggest role. Most energy drinks are packed with vitamin B12, and caffeine-free energy-boosting drinks get their kick from the vitamin. While caffeine and energy drinks aren’t suitable for kids, vitamin B12 is necessary for kids.

What Does Vitamin B12 Do in the Body?

Every vitamin is important, and any deficiency can be harmful. Vitamin B12 is one of the vitamins you should always keep a watchful eye on. Your body needs B12 for so many crucial daily processes that failing to consume enough of it will cause noticeable side effects. Vitamin B12 is essential for keeping your internal engine going, and its importance begins before you’re born.

Brain and Nerve Development and Function

Vitamin B12 is necessary for the development and function of brain and nerve cells, and the human body needs vitamin B12 for normal fetal development. Vitamin B12 continues to play a role in maintaining brain and nerve health throughout our lives. 

The Creation of Red Blood Cells

The human body makes about 200 billion red blood cells every day. This isn’t a small undertaking. Creating blood cells demands a lot of resources, and vitamin B12 is one of the most important resources to support this process.

If you don’t consume enough vitamin B12, you can develop a condition like anemia. Anemia can occur when the body is unable to produce sufficient amounts of red blood cells. Many people with anemia often feel tired, cold, and weak. Anemia can have serious consequences, and most doctors recommend supplemental B12 for people with B12 deficiency-related anemia. 

Manufacturing DNA

Your body is constantly creating DNA. Your body makes trillions of new cells every day, and each of these cells contains DNA. Vitamin B12 helps to create the structure of chromosomes, which are an important part of DNA. 

Supporting Healthy Energy Levels

Vitamin B12 doesn’t directly supply your body with energy. It makes it easier for your body to efficiently and quickly obtain energy from the food you eat. Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for the body, and vitamin B12 helps the body utilize carbohydrates. 

When you consume vitamin B12 in conjunction with a healthy whole carbohydrate, like whole grain bread or sweet potatoes, you may be more likely to feel energized after your meal. Eating foods containing vitamin B12 with whole carbohydrates before you’re about to engage in physical activity can help you feel more energized.

What Other Vitamins Can Give You Energy?

The human body is a complex machine. Although vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for energy, it’s only part of the bigger picture. Here are a few more vitamins to help children create and maintain their energy.

B Vitamins

Vitamin B12 belongs to a family of B vitamins. Although all eight B vitamins work in slightly different ways, they all function to support your body’s metabolism. Without B vitamins, your body may have difficulty converting food into fuel – and your energy levels can suffer.

There are a few B vitamins that are especially important for energy:

  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate (Vitamin B9)

All B vitamins together are called a B complex, and they work to convert carbohydrates into ATP, your body’s main energy source. Although these vitamins occur naturally in food sources like red meat, many people still take dietary supplements to boost their stores of vitamin B.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vitamin powerhouse. Not only does this vitamin support your body’s natural antioxidant abilities and support your immune system, but it can also help your body absorb iron and produce energy. 

Iron is important for energy because it helps the blood transport oxygen to your brain. That’s why one of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is a lack of energy. Whether you take iron supplements or not, without vitamin C, your body may have a harder time absorbing iron.

Although you can get this vitamin from household staples like orange juice, supplements are a great way to make sure you and your children are getting enough vitamin C.

Calcium

Calcium isn’t just good for strong bones – it’s also an integral part of your body’s energy production. Research shows that when your body doesn’t have enough calcium, your cells can actually develop problems in their energy-making process.

Calcium is found in dairy products and animal products and is also a key component in many multivitamins.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also called the “sunshine vitamin” because of your body’s innate ability to harvest it from sunshine. Vitamin D plays an important role in your muscle’s ability to maintain energy levels, and a lack of vitamin D can result in low energy levels.

As an added bonus, vitamin D is also necessary for calcium absorption. Basically, vitamin D is super important for your children’s energy.

Other vitamins that may help fight off tiredness are coenzyme q10 (COQ10), omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. Some people also benefit from adaptogens like ashwagandha, which can help your body better manage feelings of stress so that you don’t experience those post-adrenaline energy crashes. 

However, not all of these supplements are recommended for children, and you should consult your pediatrician for advice. 

How Often Should Children Take Vitamins? 

Vitamin needs may vary from child to child, especially if your child isn’t getting enough vitamins. Children can often be picky eaters, and it can be hard for them to get all of the nutrients they need from dietary sources alone.

To get personalized medical advice and recommendations, you may want to take your child to their primary care doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian. Many doctors will examine symptoms and perform bloodwork to identify any nutritional deficiencies.

In the meantime, many children’s multivitamins are designed for daily use. Children can safely take these multivitamins to support their daily nutrition.

What if My Household Is Vegan or Vegetarian?

Vegetarian households can incorporate more dairy foods and eggs into their daily diets to help meet their family’s nutritional needs. However, there aren’t many high-quality vegan sources of important vitamins and nutrients. 

Foods like nutritional yeast, fruits, and seaweed contain a lot of vitamins, but you would need to serve your family very large amounts of these foods to help them meet their required daily intake of important nutrients like calcium or vitamin B12. 

Most pediatricians recommend that children who eat plant-based diets use supplemental vitamins to meet their needs. It simply isn’t possible through diet alone when animal foods aren’t on the table. 

Does My Child Need a Supplement for Energy Support?

Vitamins are important for more than just energy. They help your body run smoothly, support your brain health, and support your immune system. Basically, even vitamins that support your energy are necessary for other reasons. 

Ask your pediatrician if your child would benefit from a daily multivitamin or supplement. Your pediatrician may want to check your child for vitamin deficiencies and assess their regular health. This is especially important for children who eat a vegan diet, as the majority of people who eat a vegan diet will experience vitamin B12 deficiency.

Hiya Is for Healthy Kids

Hiya’s daily chewable multivitamin is designed with your kids in mind. Our children’s multivitamin is vegan, dairy-free, sugar-free, non-GMO, eco-friendly, and made in the USA. It’s an easy way to help support your child’s energy and daily nutrition so that they can play without experiencing fatigue.

 

Sources:

A Red Carpet for Iron Metabolism | Cell

Carbohydrates as a source of energy | PubMed

43 - Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Vegetarians | Vegetarian and Plant-Based Diets in Health and Disease Prevention | Academic Press

Essential Regulation of Cell Bioenergetics by Constitutive InsP3 Receptor Ca2+ Transfer to Mitochondria | Cell

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