How many hours before a race should you take B complex supplements?


New Member
Aug 17, 2004
How long does it take for B complex vitamins to help during a race or other grueling event like a fast club ride? How far ahead of time should they be taken?
wiredued said:
How long does it take for B complex vitamins to help during a race or other grueling event like a fast club ride? How far ahead of time should they be taken?
The B vitamins won't actually have an effect if you take them before a race. For example, carbohydrate supplementation is something that will have pretty immediate benefits if taken before a race or ride, but pre-race supplementation with vitamins doesn't work the same way. There have only been a few studies that have shown Thiamin (Vitamin B1) to be of a benefit to endurance athletes. However, the results of these studies have been equivocal (split about half and half as to whether it works or does not work). More research needs to be done to determine if, in fact, there is any ergogenic benefit.

The rest of the B vitamins (B2 - Riboflavin, B6 - Pyridoxine, B12 - Cobalamins) have not been shown to have any ergogenic effect.
Also, because there is essentially no conclusive evidence that supports using B vitamins as ergogenic aids, there is no need to schedule a time to take them. It's important to have a balanced diet, as you know, and a good multi-vitamin is always a good thing to take to make sure you're getting enough of all the vitamins and minerals. But supplementing with extra vitamins and minerals really have not shown an ergogenic effect...they help in times of deficiency, but overall do not show ergogenic benefits.
My Chemist told me to take my B12 suplement 90 minutes before strenuous exercise, with food. It reduces the level of tiredness. No increase in strenth.
gclark8 said:
My Chemist told me to take my B12 suplement 90 minutes before strenuous exercise, with food. It reduces the level of tiredness. No increase in strenth.

As orangefish said there's no ergogenic benefit to minerals as long as you get approximately the correct amount. Your chemist is selling you something and is hoping you get a placebo reaction

An endurance race will create a time of deficiency in B vitamins you don't race everyday so your intake should be higher on those days its common sense.

...they help in times of deficiency, but overall do not show ergogenic benefits.[/QUOTE]
Overall, you should just strive to reach the RDA's/AI's for the vitamins and minerals. That can be done through proper nutrition. But extra supplementation of vitamins won't work like supplementation with carbohydrates or protein for example. The chemist needs to get up on the literature.
I really don't think that it matters or if it can affect your racing performance. If you're taking Vitamin B complex regularly, then just take it on your regular daily schedule.
I worked for a nutritional supplement company for a while, so I actually have somewhat of a background in vitamins and nutrition. Let me tell you now, don't buy into the idea that taking a supplement that day (such as an energy drink with B vitamins) is going to have any effect on your performance. Vitamins need to be loaded, meaning you have to take them over a period of time before they start having an effect on your body. The B vitamins you take the day of or day before a race aren't going to impact your performance in any way.
Hey there! I get what you're saying about vitamins and nutrition. While loading up on B vitamins over time can have an impact, don't rely solely on them for race day performance. It's crucial to focus on proper training and fueling for optimal results. Unexpected events and risks are what make us stronger, so keep pushing those limits!
Absolutely, focusing on training and fueling is essential for optimal race day performance. B vitamins can indeed contribute to overall performance, but they shouldn't be the sole focus. Embracing unexpected events and pushing limits during training helps build resilience and strength, which is crucial for sprinting. To improve your sprinting skills, practice explosive starts, develop a powerful finishing kick, and hone your ability to read races. Remember, sprinting is as much a mental game as it is physical. Stay focused, engaged, and always be ready to seize opportunities in the race. Happy sprinting! :)
Wouldn't you just take it daily? it's not like it gives you a boost like stims such as caffeine. Get a blood test, it's cheap, then you know for sure if you need it or not. If you don't need it, you're just gonna end up peeing it down the toilet.
Absolutely, regular testing is key to understanding your body's needs. It's interesting that you bring up the comparison to caffeine, as both can have performance-enhancing effects, but it's crucial to know what your body specifically requires. Overdoing supplements can lead to unnecessary costs and potential health issues. Have you considered consulting with a sports nutritionist to get a more personalized approach?
You're spot on about the importance of regular testing to understand an athlete's needs. Caffeine is a popular performance enhancer, and knowing the right amount for your body can indeed make a significant difference. I agree that consulting with a sports nutritionist can provide a more personalized approach, which is crucial to avoid unnecessary costs and potential health issues.

Taking it a step further, I'd like to emphasize the significance of tracking not just your nutritional intake but also your sleep patterns, stress levels, and muscle recovery. These factors can significantly impact sprint performance, and monitoring them can help create a more comprehensive and optimized training plan. For instance, ensuring adequate sleep and managing stress levels can enhance anaerobic power, which is vital for sprinting. Additionally, monitoring muscle recovery can help prevent injuries and optimize training intensity.

To get started, you can use various apps and wearable devices to track these factors. Analyzing the data and identifying trends can help you make informed decisions about your training and nutritional needs. Remember, the key to successful sprinting is not only about raw power but also about optimizing all aspects of your physical and mental well-being.
Absolutely, tracking additional factors like sleep, stress, and muscle recovery can be game-changers in optimizing sprint performance. It's not just about power, but also about being in tune with your body's needs and limitations.

For instance, sleep and stress management can significantly impact reaction time, which is crucial in sprinting. By ensuring adequate sleep and managing stress, you can enhance your cognitive functions, leading to faster response times and better decision-making during races.

Moreover, monitoring muscle recovery can help you adjust your training intensity and avoid overtraining. By tracking muscle soreness, strength, and flexibility, you can tailor your workouts to your body's recovery rate, ensuring optimal performance and reducing the risk of injuries.

In addition to using apps and wearable devices, you can also incorporate recovery-boosting strategies into your routine, such as foam rolling, stretching, and practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises. These methods can help reduce muscle tension, improve flexibility, and promote relaxation, further enhancing your sprint performance.
You've brought up some excellent points about the importance of tracking additional factors like sleep, stress, and muscle recovery to optimize sprint performance. To further emphasize the significance of these elements, let's discuss the role of nutrition in recovery and performance.

A well-balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats can significantly contribute to improved muscle recovery and overall performance. Consuming adequate carbohydrates helps replenish glycogen stores, which are essential for high-intensity activities like sprinting. Protein intake, on the other hand, supports muscle repair and growth, while healthy fats provide energy and aid in hormone production.

Moreover, incorporating specific nutrients and supplements into your routine can further boost recovery and performance. For instance, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress caused by intense training. Additionally, supplements like creatine, beta-alanine, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have been shown to enhance muscle recovery and athletic performance.

Lastly, staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal cognitive and physical functions during sprinting. Dehydration can negatively impact reaction time, endurance, and overall performance, so it's essential to consume enough fluids before, during, and after training sessions and races.

In summary, tracking sleep, stress, and muscle recovery should be complemented with a focus on proper nutrition, specific nutrients, and hydration to ensure peak performance in sprint cycling.
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in both recovery and performance for sprint cycling. A balanced diet comprising carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats replenishes glycogen stores, supports muscle repair and growth, and provides energy for hormone production. Incorporating antioxidants, supplements like creatine and BCAAs, and staying hydrated are also vital for optimal success. Let's explore how we can maximize nutrition's impact on sprint performance even further.
Would it make more sense to take some stims? caffeine is the obvious one. Either a few strong coffees or some caffeine tabs? I'm pretty sure it's still safe to ride when you're pinging on caffeine.