If you've ever played team sports on the high school or college level, you know that the perfect remedy for the onset of fatigue is a quick visit to the trainer's room for a B12 injection. Indeed, players on the pro level have been beating the 4th-quarter/extra innings blues with B12 for generations. ( Vitamin B12 administration is also a highly popular "morning after" remedy on cruise and resort vacations where a physician is on call, but that's a story for another day.) Though B-12 in its injectible form (which requires a doctor's prescription in the US) is indicated in certain dire situations, B12 is also a highly stable component during digestion, making oral supplementation of B12 every bit as viable (if not quite as swift) as injection for most common sports-performance-enhancement purposes.

So, what is it about Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) that has helped it earn its place as the athlete's trusted pick-me-up? Pure and simple, Vitamin B12 is the "energy and endurance vitamin." Its extreme all-around versatility as a revitalizing factor manifests itself in a number of ways. The pivotal function of Vitamin B-12 is to aid in the formation of red blood cells in the human body. It is also vital for DNA replication during cell division and the production of the mood-affecting substance SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine). Vitamin B12 is an important factor for maintaining the neurological health balance and the synthesis of myelin (a complex protein, constituting the sheath protecting nerve fibers. It is also a key component in the metabolism of fatty acids and the synthesis of proteins and carbohydrates. Finally, it enhances the activity of the immune system and the body's ability to withstand stressful conditions.

High-stress physical activity has been shown to result in the swift depletion of B-12 . And Vitamin B12 deficiency is a prime causative factor in the onset of fatigue. Thus, supplementation with B12 is a wise course of action for any athlete looking to maintain high levels of performance over the course of extended periods of extensive physical stress. In an often-cited study1, a small, double-blind trial reported that even some people who are not deficient in this vitamin had increased energy after vitamin B-12 administration, compared with the effect of placebo. In another preliminary trial2, 2,500--5,000 mcg of vitamin B 12, given every two to three days, led to improvement in 50--80% of a group of people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

If maintaining enhanced energy production and mental focus over extended intervals is important to you, then you should strongly consider Vitamin B12 supplementation. When you do, make sure you supplement with a maximum-potency, premium
-grade formulation like ProSource's B12, for superior bioavailability and assimilation up to doses of 1000 mcg/day. In short, super-potency B 12 is a highly safe, highly effective energy boost that can make the difference between faltering in the stretch run and cruising on to victory in any athletic endeavor.

1. Ellis FR, Nasser S. A pilot study of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness. Br J Nutr 1973;30:277--83.
2. Lapp CW, Cheney PR. The rationale for using high-dose cobalamin (vitamin B12). CFIDS Chronicle Physicians' Forum, 1993;Fall:19--20.