What Is Natural?
I’m not one to argue about the natural diets of humans. Especially when it comes to B-12. The typical argument has always been, “Well, if we were meant to be plant based, then why do we need B-12, which is only found in meat?” Truth of the matter is, I could care less. The fact is, we’ve evolved, and with scientific research and development, we can get really great sources of vitamin B-12 without needing to harm animals for our survival. It really boils down to whether or not you’d like to embrace ethical eating. Not whether or not we were meant to eat a certain way. There’s no right or wrong in evolution and I believe we’ll see a world in 100 years, in where the majority of humans will say, “Hey, remember 100 years ago when we would all eat meat? How weird…”
Regardless of what is a, “Natural,” diet for us or not, we need B-12. And let me be the first to tell you that this stuff is super important. Being a Vegan for almost 2 years now, I feel like I don’t nearly have as much experience as other Vegans with B-12, but in this short amount of time, I’ve definitely experienced what B-12 deficiency feels like. Let me start with the 5 things B-12 is most important for:
- Nervous System
- Brain function
- Muscle fatigue
My Experience With B-12
I used to think B-12 was only needed once a week. Sometimes, I’d slip and let myself go for 2-3 weeks at a time, thinking that would be okay. It was hard to detect a deficiency in B-12, because I was still functioning fine, but then I’d start to notice something weird. My hands would tingle on the daily as if there were electrical currents running through them. On bad days, it would travel up to my elbows and I especially noticed this during days of recovering from a night of drinking with friends. It was super annoying and constantly present throughout the day. I couldn’t shake it!
In my mind, I just thought it was years of typing on a keyboard, bike riding in the city, and having weak wrist. And to be honest, it may be a combination of that stuff too, but once I started to load back up on B-12 everyday, I noticed huge improvements in how much tingling sensation I was experiencing. While I still get occasional tingling in my wrist, it’s less noticeable and doesn’t bother me as much. I feel like my body must have went through shock, and now it’s slowly trying to repair itself and that’s fine, but I wanted to be sure to let you know to not let it get to that point. Take your B-12!!
I’ve taken several different brands of B-12, some of which you absorb under your tongue, and some that you just swallow. What I’ve found to work best for me is NatureMade B-12.
How do I know this stuff works? Well, because when I take this brand, I feel an energy boost and that’s important. In fact, prior to consuming this brand, I’d take Kirkland brand B-12 that dissolves under the tongue. The Kirkland brand is made of Methylcobalamin, which is believed to be the most natural form of B-12 you can get. NatureMade’s B-12 uses a synthetic form called, Cyanocobalamin, which requires more energy to breakdown and absorb into your body. I wasn’t able to feel the energy boost from Kirkland’s brand, so I stick to NatureMade for my B-12. I do believe your body builds tolerance to anything we put into it, so somedays I’ll switch it up and take the Kirkland brand under the tongue.
Remember To Take It!
I’ve been recently getting into calisthenics for everyday workouts, which always keeps me on routine to take my B-12, post workout. It’s like clockwork and I find that it also helps to speed up my recovery time. As a side note, my inspiration is to be ripped like Frank Medrano who is such a crazy Vegan athlete…maybe I’ll get there one day! At any rate, you’ll want to build some type of habit around daily consumption of your vitamins. If you’re forgetful like I am, try to associate taking your vitamins with some daily activity. Post workouts are great reminders, because as you’re sore, all you’re thinking about is recovery with good smoothies and food, so whenever you hear that blender go off, think, “Vitamin B-12 TIME!”
So for now, stay Vegan strong with B-12! Don’t be like me and let your body suffer and stress without it. It’s so important to take this stuff! Hope this helps!