The Benefits of B Vitamins for Energy, Mood, and Hormones

by JJ Virgin on February 28, 2023

Teamwork makes everything better. While everyone has a unique gift to offer, when you combine that talent, something magical happens. We call that collective energy synchronicity

B vitamins work like that. They all have something to contribute, but combine them and their health benefits really shine. When I talk about the B vitamins, I’m referring to these eight players:

  1. Thiamine (B1) 
  1. Riboflavin (B2) 
  1. Niacin (B3) 
  1. Pantothenic acid (B5) 
  1. Pyridoxine (B6) 
  1. Biotin (B7) 
  1. Folate (B9) 
  1. Cobalamin (B12) 

As you’ll see, they play unique positions throughout your body. However, you’ll often find these eight vitamins together in supplement formulas for a reason: B vitamins work together to support numerous chemical reactions as well as a healthy metabolism.  

Many things can deplete B vitamins, including:  

  • A sugary, processed-foods diet  
  • Chronic stress 
  • Too much alcohol 
  • Some medications 
  • Birth control pills, which are known to deplete B vitamins like B6, B12, folate, and riboflavin 
  • Age (as you get older, you may also have lower amounts of B vitamins) 

As a result of these low or deficient amounts, your body’s chemical processes can become slow and inefficient. That’s where taking a B-complex formula can help.  

Whether you’re struggling with late-morning or early-afternoon fatigue, mood swings derail your days, or you want to restore hormonal balance, a B-complex may provide the nudge your body needs to run more efficiently. 

Read on to learn three ways that taking a B-complex can support energy, mood, and hormone balance. 

Our All-In-One Shake delivers 22 grams of plant-based protein from pea, chia, and chlorella. The nutrient profile is equally impressive, with a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including optimal B vitamins. You also get the power of 9 fruits and veggies, a prebiotic fiber blend, digestive enzymes, and probiotics to make this a true All-In-One Shake.* You’ll find them here

B Vitamins for Energy 

Food provides energy for your body to thrive. We often associate energy, however, with the stamina and vitality we need to tackle daily tasks. Some days, you may describe yourself as “low energy” or fatigued. 

Ultimately, the energy you derive from food contributes to how much energy you have all day. If you’re feeling tired or groggy, you’ll want to look at your diet. You’re likely familiar with the aftermath of eating a big bowl of pasta, where you want to curl up in a ball on the couch in a food coma. Conversely, when you drink a loaded smoothie, you feel focused and invigorated for hours. 

B vitamins are big energy players. All of them (except folate) are involved in at least one step (and usually, several steps) of energy production within your cells. Deficiencies in even one B vitamin may impair energy production, with potentially severe repercussions for your health.1 

“Of all the essential vitamins and minerals, the B vitamins deserve special attention because without them, we wouldn’t be able to turn the food we eat into cellular energy and our mitochondria couldn’t function,” says Ari Whitten, M.S., in Eat for Energy.  

Consider biotin, a B vitamin that serves as a cofactor for several enzymes that play critical roles in synthesizing fatty acids, breaking down amino acids, and other roles essential for energy production within your cells.2 

Do B vitamins give you energy, like a cup of coffee? Not directly. For steady, sustained energy levels, you’ll want to focus on things like great sleep, balanced blood sugar, and consistent exercise.  

However, B vitamins can support the body’s energy production in the cells, providing that extra boost to be at your best all day. If you’re dialing in your diet and lifestyle but still feel sluggish, supplementing with a B-complex may provide that extra energy boost. 

B Vitamins for Mood 

Do you feel lethargic or in a bad mood some days? B vitamins may help.  

“B-complex vitamins are often used to reduce fatigue and boost mood,” says Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, in Healthline. “Some studies suggest that B vitamins can lift your spirits and improve your cognitive performance.” 

Kubala points out several studies that show a B-vitamin complex supplement may: 

  • Improve depression and anxiety symptoms 
  • Enhance mental performance  
  • Lower mental fatigue 
  • Reduce stress3 

One review of 18 articles looked at the benefits of B vitamin supplements on mood. Some studies showed that compared with a placebo, B vitamins positively impacted how you feel. Researchers found that B vitamin supplementation could especially benefit stress.4 

Another study looked at how deficiencies in folate and vitamin B12 may impact depression. Replenishing levels of these two B vitamins, researchers found, may be an effective strategy to manage depression.5 

Mood disorders are often multifactorial and may stem from several issues, including neurotransmitter imbalances and poor sleep. Some people may need to seek professional help for mood disorders such as depression, in addition to dietary and lifestyle changes. 

B Vitamins for Hormone Balance 

The best way to balance blood sugar is eating by the plate. The trifecta of healthy fats, fiber, and protein can steady blood-sugar levels to keep you full and focused for hours. 

Learn more about eating by the plate here 

B-complex may provide extra protection to help maintain healthy blood-sugar levels. Research shows that folate and vitamin B12 can improve insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome.6 

This type of supplement can support other hormones too, including estrogen. Three B vitamins—B6, B12, and folate—help the liver clear out excess estrogen to promote overall hormone balance.7 

I mentioned above that stress can deplete levels of vitamin B. A B-complex supplement can help there, too, as it supports the production of your adrenal hormones that help you cope with stress. 

While hormonal balance can be complex and may require working with a functional practitioner, taking a B-complex may help support healthy levels of insulin, estrogen, and other hormones. 

Optimal Protein Intake Demands More B Vitamins

An eat-protein-first meal approach is ideal for meeting your protein needs. When you increase your protein intake, your body needs more B vitamins, crucial for protein breakdown. B vitamins help your body convert protein into energy to repair tissues and perform other metabolic functions. Research shows that the more protein you eat, the more B vitamins, including vitamin B6, your body needs.8 

My 7-Day Eat Protein First Challenge ensures optimal protein at every meal. I’ve included a protein calculator to see how much protein you should be getting, along with a guide with tips and tricks and a protein-first meal plan to help you successfully transition to a higher-protein diet and reap the benefits. 

The challenge is FREE. Click here to sign up. 


  1. Tardy AL, Pouteau E, Marquez D, Yilmaz C, Scholey A. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 16;12(1):228. doi: 10.3390/nu12010228. PMID: 31963141; PMCID: PMC7019700. 
  1. Tardy AL, Pouteau E, Marquez D, Yilmaz C, Scholey A. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 16;12(1):228. doi: 10.3390/nu12010228. PMID: 31963141; PMCID: PMC7019700. 
  1. Young LM, Pipingas A, White DJ, Gauci S, Scholey A. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 16;11(9):2232. doi: 10.3390/nu11092232. PMID: 31527485; PMCID: PMC6770181. 
  1. Khosravi M, Sotoudeh G, Amini M, Raisi F, Mansoori A, Hosseinzadeh M. The relationship between dietary patterns and depression mediated by serum levels of Folate and vitamin B12. BMC Psychiatry. 2020 Feb 13;20(1):63. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-2455-2. PMID: 32054533; PMCID: PMC7020545. 
  1. Setola E, Monti LD, Galluccio E, Palloshi A, Fragasso G, Paroni R, Magni F, Sandoli EP, Lucotti P, Costa S, Fermo I, Galli-Kienle M, Origgi A, Margonato A, Piatti P. Insulin resistance and endothelial function are improved after folate and vitamin B12 therapy in patients with metabolic syndrome: relationship between homocysteine levels and hyperinsulinemia. Eur J Endocrinol. 2004 Oct;151(4):483-9. doi: 10.1530/eje.0.1510483. PMID: 15476449. 
  2. MedlinePlus: Vitamins: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern.