Vitamins that give you energy

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: March 19, 2018

Vitamins that give you energy – REALLY!

 B vits increase lean body massVitamins that give you energy in the “B class”  are B1, B2, B3, B6, with B12 to be discussed in its own section. The B’s play a significant role in keeping our bodies functioning smoothly.

These essential vitamins help us convert food into fuel, allowing us to have healthy energy levels throughout the day. While many of the following B vitamins work together, each has its distinct benefits. To illustrate, they range from being a form of anti aging skin care from the inside out to preventing memory loss by helping optimize our brain health.

B1 (Thiamine):

B1 helps the body make new and, importantly, healthy cells. It’s called an anti-stress vitamin because of its ability to protect the immune system. It does this by lowering cortisol levels.

Foods sources include:

Spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses, wheat germ, whole grains, peanuts and legumes (beans).

B2 (Riboflavin):

This B vitamin works as an antioxidant to help fight cell-damaging free radicals. It might help to slow cellular aging and the development of heart disease. Riboflavin is also necessary for red blood cell production, needed for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Food sources include:

Brussels sprouts, milk, soybeans, almonds, wild rice,  yogurt, eggs and spinach.

B3 (Niacin):

One of the primary uses for niacin has been to boost HDL cholesterol. However, we no longer do this supplementally as it raises glucose levels so much. Vitamin B3 deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries, though alcoholism has been shown to lower B3 levels.

Food sources include:

Eggs, green vegetables, yeast, red meat, beans and milk

B6 (Pyridoxine):

Along with the B vitamins 9 and 12,  B6 helps regulate levels of the heart disease detecting amino acid homocysteine.

Pyridoxine is also important in sleep and mood because it helps the body produce serotonin, melatonin and the stress hormone norepinephrine.

Some studies suggest vitamin B6 can reduce inflammation for people with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms!

It is one of the best B vitamins that give you energy and also decreases inflammation (an honor held only by B6).

Food sources include:

Tuna, salmon, turkey, chicken, cheese, brown rice, lentils, sunflower seeds and carrots.

To ensure you get all of the essential B vitamins, we have a great supplement including folate (folic acid) in its universally absorbable form called 5-mthf.

The best of the B vitamins that give you energy – B12:

The body needs Vitamin B12 to make DNA for new cells, form healthy red blood cells, and turn the food we eat into energy.  In fact, recent studies suggest anywhere from 15-40% of Americans don’t have adequate levels of B12 for optimal health. To illustrate, below are the reasons why it’s the best B vitamin for energy.

Initially, short term inadequate B12 levels can lead to fatigue, mood changes, and dementia-like symptoms. In the long term, an unchecked vitamin B12 deficiency may result in permanent nerve damage, not to mention serious anemia and immune suppression.

 Who’s at risk?

A critical step in vitamin B12 absorption occurs in the stomach where your stomach acid plays a key role in un-coupling B12 from your food. If you’re taking medications that suppress gastric acid production, such as proton pump inhibitors for heartburn, you are at higher risk for B12 deficiency. Regular consumption of aspirin is also associated with a higher risk of B12 deficiency as is the very popular diabetes drug Metformin.

If you’re over age 50:

Changes in the stomach lining as we age can reduce the production of gastric acid for up to 30% of the population.

In this case, you no longer can unlock adequate amounts of B12 from the foods you eat.

For this reason, it’s recommended that all Americans over age 50 consume 25-100 mcg/day of supplemental B12.

What’s the difference? In fortified foods and supplements, B12 is already in its free form and doesn’t require gastric acid for separation in the stomach.

Boost B12 in Your Diet:

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods such as seafood, poultry, beef, pork and dairy products. Additionally, foods high in B12 tend to be metabolism boosting foods.

Supplemental B12:

Supplements and injection are other options for people who already have or are at higher risk for deficiency.

There are numerous vitamins, lozenges, dissolving oral tablets, lollipops and patches that deliver adequate amounts of B12.

If you have pernicious anemia (missing an intestinal absorption factor called intrinsic factor), you need an injection or sublingual. Our sublingual lozenges are chewed and put under the tongue for an energy burst.

What about Vitamin D as one of the vitamins that give you energy?

Vitamin D is well-known for anti-heart disease, anti-cancer and crucial for bone health too. However, did you know it’s one of the best vitamins that give you energy? It is!

Vitamin D is vital for making our muscles work efficiently and boosting energy levels.

In fact, a recent study shows muscle function improves with Vitamin D supplements which are thought to enhance the activity of the mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the energy-generators (ATP) in all of our cells and organs. Given these points, muscle fatigue is a common symptom in vitamin D deficient patients.

This fatigue could be due to reduced efficiency of the mitochondria. This is yet another reason to supplement with Vitamin D + K (for absorption), as this vitamin is deficient in almost everyone in the U.S. Further, you cannot get enough from the sun without damaging your skin.

Dietary and Supplemental Sources:

Vitamin D can also be found in fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and fortified cereals (which I don’t recommend). Moreover, it can be effectively boosted with Vitamin D supplements containing Vitamin K to assist in absorption.

 CoQ 10

One of the Major Benefits of CoQ10 is Increased Energy:

The heart is one of the few organs in the body that functions continuously. Therefore the heart muscle requires a huge level of “energy support” of any organ your body.

Any condition that causes a decrease in CoQ10 can impair the energy capability of the heart, leaving the tissues more susceptible to free radical attack.

Although CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body, production goes down dramatically with age and in the presence of certain diseases.

Medication, most notably “statins,” also interfere with CoQ10 production.

As your CoQ10 levels decline it can significantly affect your energy levels, making you feel “older” than you actually are. It is crucial for anyone taking a statin to take CoQ 10 in the form of ubiquinol as not just one of the vitamins that give you energy but as a vitamin that can save your life! For the rest of us, it’s needed when Co-Q levels start to drop, usually in the 45-50 y/o age group. (So please don’t let your doctor say you are “old” and that’s why your energy is low because there is always a fixable reason!)

Refueling Your Body with CoQ10 Can Improve Your Energy Levels, Dramatically

When you supplement with the right CoQ10 dosage, it allows CoQ10 to do its job of sparking the production of ATP. Many nutrients assist in this function. These include the B vitamins, Krebs cycle cofactors, magnesium, alpha lipoic acid, acetyl l carnitine, and COQ10.

Dietary sources of COQ10:

Dietary sources of CoQ10 include beef heart, pork, chicken liver and fish (especially wild caught salmon, mackerel, and sardines). However, the average person gets only 2–5 mg of CoQ10 a day from their diet. Therefore supplementation with the CORRECT form of Co-Q10 called Ubiquinol is a real must.

Glutathione and Energy Levels

 This is my favorite of all of the vitamins that give you energy. Why? Because after age 45-50, you don’t produce enough. As a result, you feel more fatigued and attribute it to “age.”

And then I can come in and save the day within a week – so FUN! Markedly, most people haven’t haven’t heard of this antioxidant, and it happens to be the most powerful of them all!

Glutathione is the “master intracellular antioxidant” in your body. Increasing glutathione levels will naturally increase your energy, help to detox your body and will also strengthen your immune system.

Glutathione is an antioxidant that is endogenous, meaning the body produces it.

It’s made of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamate.

Its antioxidant powers help protect the body from the damaging effects of radiation and other free radical that we encounter in our daily lives.

When glutathione is low, it’s generally a good indicator that cellular ATP is low, too.

Therefore, low levels of glutathione will often correlate with low energy levels.

Foods containing glutathione:

foods that speed up metabolism are also foods for energy like we're discussing hereThere are several foods that work wonders at improving glutathione (and also energy), but preparation is “key.”

Fresh vegetables are an excellent glutathione boost, but as soon as you cook them, their benefits (at least regarding glutathione) are zilch.

Fresh raw veggies, however, are great for boosting glutathione.

For example, the best ones are spinach, squash, potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, okra, avocado and cauliflower. Also, don’t forget the healthiest of nuts which are walnuts! Whey protein that is cold-pressed, contains no sugar, and comes from grass-fed cows is the best food for boosting glutathione.

Supplements to boost glutathione levels:

Some supplements can boost glutathione as well. For instance, supplementing with alpha lipoic acid can help to regenerate glutathione.  Vitamin D also helps boost glutathione levels. Furthermore, an important note about glutathione is that reduced levels of IT reduce your B12 levels.

glutathione spray

Now when we talk about supplementation, 99.9% of oral glutathione isn’t absorbed. As a result, our medical team has a process by which they have modified it and added it to our nitric oxide benefits powder. However, if you want real powerful effects of this important antioxidant and best of the vitamins that give you energy, you need a spray which is absorbed sublingually. It’s amazing how rapidly this works! Spray this, chew a B12 and you’re set! (Sorry to be getting “commercial” on you for a moment here).


So, there you go! This is a synopsis of all the vitamins that give you energy.  Do you want more energy? If yes, then just look through this blog. You’ll find tons and tons of info; see information by condition and click letter “E” for energy. Please DO note that if you have a fatiguing (mitochondrial) illness, you will need specific mitochondrial supplements. I left you the link to those above.


FREE email consultation with Dr. Kim included with every purchase & FREE shipping on all orders over $150