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Will B12 vitamins raise your energy level?

AUG 3, 2022

Minute 1: What you need to know about B12 and other supplements

Sometimes, it can feel like there are more vitamins to keep track of than there are elements on the periodic table. (Where, sadly, Sm stands for Samarium, not Six Minute.) It’s no surprise that most of us forget which vitamins are which and whether some are more important for active athletes. Today, we want to shed some light on B12, so let’s dive into “Does B12 give you energy?” Despite what your friend at the gym says, the short answer is no, it doesn’t give you energy. At least not in the same way that calories derived from food will. Instead, vitamin B12 facilitates your metabolism, allowing your body to create energy from its typical sources. That means a B12 deficiency can impair your body’s ability to make energy, and this is particularly common among those with a plant-based diet. If you’re often feeling fatigue or headaches, lack of B12 could be the cause, and you may want to look into adding a supplement to your diet. For more info on the subject, check out “Which form of vitamin B12 should athletes take?” It’s important to be discerning with any supplement you ingest, as not all are produced with the same level of quality. Here are “5 Supplements That Have the Lowest Quality Ingredients.” When it comes to energy boosting supplements, if they aren’t based on B12, then they probably contain caffeine, and lots of it. Pre-workouts and energy drinks often contain excessive caffeine levels, which can increase anxiety, headaches, and sleep troubles.

Minute 2: No weights and no time? You can still work out

It’s easy to obsess about finding the “right” way to exercise, but the truth is, how we run or what we do in the gym is similar to what we do in the bedroom – as long as you’re safe, there’s really no wrong way to do it. Any exercise at all will help, as detailed in this new piece from the NYT: “Four Fitness Facts to Fuel Your Workout.” First of all, it doesn’t take long to see benefits. Most of the longevity-boosting effects of exercise occur within the first 20 minutes. So even a 5-20 minute session is worth doing. Intensity isn’t a necessity either. The more intense you work out, the faster you’ll see results, but anything to get your heart rate above resting will make it stronger. And yes, daily exercise is ideal, although some studies have shown that skipping weekday workouts altogether and exercising 150 minutes per weekend is nearly as good. Weight training is one of the best ways to build strength, but it’s not the only option. Here is “How to Get Stronger Without Lifting Any Weights.” You may be surprised just how much resistance your muscles can feel while doing bodyweight exercises. Pushups, pullups, and planks are a good place to start. There are also resistance bands, which can be a lot cheaper than a set of weights. As an added bonus, they’re good for mobility work too. #DoLotsWithALittle

Minute 3: What is an anti sauna, and should you try one?

If you’re already wilting from the heat this summer, we may have the solution for you: the growing trend known as anti-saunas. No, that’s not an activist group opposed to excessive perspiration or to Finnish culture. It’s actually a kind of cold exposure that’s been popular for a long time in Nordic countries, and its health benefits are substantial. Check out “I Sat in a Freezing Cold “Snow Grotto” Anti-Sauna. And You Should Too.” Anti-saunas are like their high-temp counterparts in a lot of ways: a small room you enter for a short period of time to trigger a physiological response. This sort of thermoregulation therapy puts us into the hormetic zone. In other words, it’s a small dose of stressful stimulation that activates our bodies’ survival mechanisms. This controlled discomfort exposure can help our bodies become more resilient, and for a double dose of hormesis, your next stop should be a traditional hot sauna. Consider these “6 Benefits of Using the Sauna After Working Out.” Saunas can improve heart health, relax your muscles, reduce lower back pain, and more. For those of us who won’t last another minute in intense heat, but still want to reap the health benefits, infrared saunas are yet another option to consider. Find the Mayo Clinic’s analysis here: “What is an infrared sauna? Does it have health benefits?

Minute 4: Shoe review – Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 ($225)

Brian Metzler weighs in with his take on a shoe that was just released this week. While the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 lacks the media buzz of its carbon-plated competitors, Brian strongly endorses this shoe for specific purposes. He hits the highlights below, but if you want all the pluses and minuses, please click here to see the full review on our website. Here is Brian’s take: Since the advent of marathon racing shoes with carbon-fiber plates a few years ago, Saucony has quietly been one of the top brands in the super shoe genre. I say “quietly” because while Nike, Adidas, ASICS and HOKA have received a lot of attention from the podium finishes of their athletes, Saucony has produced some very good shoes even though it hasn’t garnered the fanfare. The original Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2 were both very good for marathon race-day execution, and the more minimal Endorphin Pro+ was surprisingly exceptional for 10K and half marathon racing (but not produced in mass quantities). It’s just that Saucony hasn’t had as many high-profile athletes wearing their shoes at big road races. But all of that might as well be ancient history with the release of the maximally cushioned Endorphin Pro 3 (which debuted on August 2). If you’ve never run in Saucony’s modern racing shoes or if you felt the first two Endorphin Pro models were too rigid and aggressive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how good this shoe is.

What’s New: To develop the Endorphin Pro 3, Saucony broke the mold of its previous shoes and started from scratch. This shoe has thickest stack of hyper-resilient PWRRUNPB foam ever incorporated into a Saucony shoe (about 4mm thicker than previous Endorphin Pro shoes) and it also features a new, curvier carbon-fiber plate to provide the optimal spring and pop in every stride. A new, lightweight engineered mesh upper that’s breathable and supportive, a new segmented rubber outsole configuration and a slightly wider footprint round out this dazzling new model and put it in position to be the best Saucony shoe ever made.

Why It’s Great: The Endorphin Pro 3 is a light, soft, bouncy and (potentially) very fast long-distance racing shoe. It retains Saucony’s SpeedRoll technology, which is a combination of the high-end component materials (especially the Pebax-based PWRRUNPB foam) and a unique rocker geometry that promotes forward propulsion and maximal energy return with the least possible energy output from the runner. That means you can run longer and farther with less metabolic cost than in other shoes. The maximal midsole cushioning helps produce a smoother and less aggressive ride than the original Pro series shoes, but, even though it’s a bigger shoe than its predecessors, it’s actually about a quarter of an ounce lighter.

For more pros and cons on the Bondi 8, check out Brian’s full review here.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • In our house, we’ve come to regard our new air fryer as part of the family. Unlike its human siblings, this miracle device is never grumpy and produces tasty, healthy food. We’re amazed at the alchemy involved with cooking fried food that is actually quite nutritious. The taste and feel they produce is surprisingly close to traditional frying methods too. For a WebMD’s take on these devices, check out: “Do Air Fryers Have Health Benefits?” If you’re sold on the idea and are now rushing out to buy one for yourself, wait a minute. You may already have a similar feature built into your oven. To find out, read “BTW, Your Oven Already Has a Built-In Setting That Will ‘Transform’ It Into an Air Fryer.

  • Living with chronic sleep disruption can weigh you down worse than the “endless buffet” at Golden Corral. Racking up “sleep debt'' can create long-term problems, but new studies suggest that catching up on weekends can limit the negative effects. For more on this, and some tips on building healthy, balanced sleep habits, read “Can I catch up on lost sleep? We ask an expert.”

  • The term Genetically Modified Organism, or GMO, sounds like it comes from a dystopian sci-fi novel, not a grocery store. You’ve probably heard warnings about GMOs, and while some of those may be warranted, it’s important to note that not all genetic modification is harmful. Oftentimes, it’s quite subtle, and evidence suggests there may be less cause for concern than we feared, at least with certain GMOs. To see the pros and cons of GMOs, read this new piece from VeryWellFit: “What You Need to Know About GMOs.”

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Few jobs require the level of heroism and self sacrifice as a wildland firefighter. It’s a service that’s needed now more than ever, given the rising frequency and intensity of wildfires across the country. Demonstrations of bravery, skill and dedication by these firefighters have been chronicled for ages, as Norman Maclean did in his phenomenal book Young Men and Fire, released in 1992. The next generation of firefighters features female leaders who exhibit all the mastery and confidence of the world’s best athletes – while also risking their lives. For an excellent short video tribute from Outside, check out the video below:


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