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Vitamin B12 for Endurance Runners

Published : Jan 24, 2024 2 mins read Updated On : Jan 25, 2024

Vitamin B12 for Endurance Runners

As runners embark on their journey to achieve peak performance, the significance of proper nutrition is vital. One nutrient that holds particular importance for runners, especially those adhering to a vegan lifestyle, is Vitamin B12. While traditionally found in meat, dairy, and eggs, B12, crucial for various bodily functions, can be synthesized by bacteria, offering a lifeline for those opting for a plant-based diet.

Why is B12 Important?

Vitamin B12 is important for the division and activation of red blood cells. Inadequate B12 intake can lead to macrocytic or megaloblastic anaemia, characterized by fatigue. Moreover, B12 safeguards the nervous system, preventing symptoms such as tingling in the hands or feet. Complicating matters further, subclinical deficiencies can elevate homocysteine levels, a byproduct of protein metabolism. Increased homocysteine has links to cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality. Studies highlight a prevalence of elevated homocysteine among non-supplementing vegans, emphasizing the importance of B12 supplementation.

What is the Ideal Dose?

The National Institute of Health recommends a daily intake of 2.4mcg of Vitamin B12. Athletes, with their heightened physical demands, benefit from B12's role in red blood cell formation. Pernicious anaemia, caused by B12 deficiency, can impair oxygen transport, affecting tissue oxygenation.

How B12 Impacts Runners?

Vitamin B12, essential for red blood cell production, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, plays a crucial role in a runner's energy levels, overall health, and performance. It contributes to a well-functioning nervous and immune system, alleviates tiredness and fatigue, and maintains healthy blood cells and muscles.

Runners with B12 deficiency may experience numbness, muscle weakness, psychological issues, mind and muscle connection balance problems, and painful twitches in legs and toes. Recognizing these symptoms is vital for timely intervention.


Given that B12 is primarily found in animal products, vegetarians and vegans may face challenges meeting daily requirements. Fortified cereals and soy products are plant-based sources, but for added assurance, supplements like Fast&Up Plant Based B12 offer a convenient solution. Derived from plant-based extracts like wheatgrass, chlorella, alfalfa, and spirulina powders, this naturally sourced B12 supplement supports the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, and energy production, making it an ideal choice for vegans and vegetarians striving for optimal performance.


  • Ganguly P, Alam SF. Role of homocysteine in the development of cardiovascular disease. Nutr J. 2015 Jan 10;14:6. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-14-6. PMID: 25577237; PMCID: PMC4326479.
  • Serin HM, Arslan EA. Neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: analysis of pediatric patients. Acta Clin Croat. 2019 Jun;58(2):295-302. doi: 10.20471/acc.2019.58.02.13. PMID: 31819326; PMCID: PMC6884369.
  • National institute of Health – Fact Sheet for Health Professionals https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/
  • Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B(6), Folate, Vitamin B(12), Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1998.
Shilpa Manwani
Shilpa Manwani
Health and Nutrition

Shilpa is an expert on food science. She enjoys writing blogs that give complete information about nutrition. She is also a foodie and loves to talk about different types of food. her extensive kno... Read More

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