When we think of muscle development or gains, the only nutrient we focus on is protein. However, the protein you consume is not entirely beneficial if it is not assimilated and utilised correctly. Vitamin B12 foods play an important role in this process. If your goal is to build muscle fast, you need to ensure that your daily intake of b12 foods is well-regulated.
B12 Foods Benefits
Vitamin B12 foods are just as important in muscle gain as macronutrients. They help improve your protein metabolization and boost your training performance. Here are some benefits of b12 rich foods that help you boost your gaining cycle:
1. Protein and Fat Breakdown
This is the primary function of vitamin B 12 rich foods. They help metabolise the proteins that you consume to be broken down into amino acids. These amino acids are absorbed directly into the muscles, allowing them to repair themselves and grow in size. Vitamin B12 also helps metabolise fats to produce energy. This is one of the primary reasons for fatigue in individuals who have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
2. Synthesis of Red Blood Cells
Vitamin B12 and biotin rich foods are known to help improve the synthesis of red blood cells. This is very important for bodybuilders and athletes as the red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to various organs. With increased red blood cell synthesis, the energy levels are elevated as oxygen supply to vital organs is also boosted. This helps improve overall training performance which is vital to building muscles faster.
3. Healthy Neurological Function
Vitamin B12 rich foods are also known to improve your neurological function. This is important for muscle control. When you have better muscle control, your performance during weight training also improves. It also reduces the chances of any injuries that may prevent you from being consistent with your training.
Best Vitamin B12 Foods to Include in Your Diet
To consume a Vitamin B12 diet that supports your muscle gain goals, you need to consume suitable food sources. Here is a list of the best foods to improve your Vitamin B12 intake:
1. Organ Meats
Organ meats like kidneys and liver are packed with nutrients. These meats derived from lamb, in particular, are rich in Vitamin B12. You get more than the required daily intake of Vitamin B12 with just 100g of organ meats. In addition to being the best vitamin B12 foods, organ meats also contain other nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Copper, and Selenium, which positively impact the overall metabolic health.
Clams are a type of shellfish known for the high concentration of Vitamin B12. You can get over 7000% of the required daily intake with just 200g of clams. Clams are also a rich source of iron, giving you 100% of the required daily intake in just a 100g serving. They are also rich in antioxidants which keep your immune system in great shape.
Sardines are saltwater fish that are available fresh and canned. Sardines are not only counted amongst the best b12 rich foods but also contain a host of other nutrients in high concentrations. Almost every nutrient that you require is found in sardines. With 150g of sardines, you get 554% of the daily required B12 content. They are also a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are very useful for reducing inflammation and maintaining your heart health.
Beef is one of the most commonly used Vitamin B12 sources. One steak weighing 190g can give you over 450% of the daily value of Vitamin B12. It is also one of the best biotin rich foods. It is, undoubtedly, a rich source of protein which is a valuable nutrient when your goal is to build muscle. Other nutrients found in beef are Vitamin B2, B3, B6, Selenium, and Zinc.
One egg contains 25% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin B12. It is also the most readily available source of Vitamin B12. It is also rich in protein and other nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids that boost your bodybuilding regime.
6. Shiitake Mushroom
Mushrooms, in general, are good b12 foods. However, shiitake mushrooms have the highest concentration of Vitamin B12. With just 50g of dried shiitake mushrooms, you can quickly meet your required daily intake of Vitamin B12.
7. Dairy Products
Dairy products are the best vitamin B12 foods to include in a vegetarian diet. With 1 cup of low-fat milk, you can obtain 50% of the daily value of Vitamin B12. 1 cup of yoghurt gives you 46% of the daily required intake.
Salmon is best known for its rich Omega-3 fatty acids content. It is also a great choice for a Vitamin B diet. With just 170g of cooked salmon, you can get over 200% of the daily value of Vitamin B12. It is also a great source of lean protein.
9. Nutritional Yeast
This is one of the few vegan sources of Vitamin B12. It can be used in bread and some beverages to include in your Vitamin B diet. Naturally, nutritional yeast does not contain any Vitamin B12. However, the commercially available options are fortified with Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 supplements are suggested for individuals who are vegan or vegetarian. It is also useful for older adults who cannot absorb this vitamin from natural sources. Most natural vitamin B12 foods may not be easy to consume for those who have intestinal issues or digestive issues. In that case, choosing a good supplement is highly recommended. However, before supplementation, always consult an expert.