27 Apr 2010

Energy and the need for Vitamin B12

Most Voice Professionals, when asked for the one thing they could always use more of, would probably answer “ENERGY.” I know for myself, singing is an entire body workout. Whether it is a performance, coaching, lesson, or simply doing daily warm ups on my own, I use my entire body and always need a full supply of energy.

Adequate daily supply of Vitamin B12 is an absolute must for the working voice professional. B12 provides the body with much needed energy that we do not get if our diet is not well balanced. Even if it is, for the amount of energy it takes to keep up the schedule a voice professional has, and always be “on”, we need additional support.

B12 also helps tremendously with stress. It helps our nervous system to function at a more even and relaxed level. When I am on the road and have multiple performances, I always up my B12 by almost 50% from what I regularly take. Just to have that extra support when I need it. In fact I give myself Vitamin B12 injections on a regular basis. ( Ask your doctor how to show you the proper way to give yourself injections) I feel much more energized and my entire outlook on life is more upbeat and positive. I also do not feel as nervous before performances or auditions.

Research has found that approximately 50% of the United States population have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Most of us do not even absorb what little amount of B12, if any, that we get from our food intake. Especially if you are a vegetarian ( like myself) you will be getting very little B12 in your body at all. B12 deficiency is a very serious issue and can lead to all kinds of problems including, moodiness, nervous system health, memory loss, fatigue, head aches, dizziness,red tongue, sore tongue, depression and the list goes on. If you have any of these symptoms you may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Check with your doctor or health professional as to how much B12 you should be taking for your life schedule. In general if you are taking more than you need, the excess will come out in your urine. Don’t panic if your urine is bright yellow or semi orange in color! There is nothing wrong with you. Just a B12 “side effect”. It is usually non toxic and side effects are rare even in high doses.
Some foods with the highest amount of B12 in order, include:

Calf’s liver, sardines, snapper, venison, shrimp, scallops, salmon, beef and lamb.
Non animal foods that contain B12 are quite limited so if you are a vegetarian then you probably should be taking a good B12 supplement. Some of these foods, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group include:
“Tempeh, miso, and seaweed. These are often labeled as having large amounts of vitamin B12.

One needs to be aware of the fact that these products are not reliable sources of the vitamin because the amount of vitamin B12 present depends on the type of processing the food undergoes. Other sources of vitamin B12 are fortified soy milk (check the label as this is rarely available in the U.S.), vitamin B12-fortified meat analogues, and vitamin B12 supplements. There are supplements which do not contain animal products. Vegetarians who are not vegan can also obtain vitamin B12 from dairy products and eggs.”

As always, I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal health.

About the Author:JAN ALAN SCHWARTZ

Voice Professional and Business Owner

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