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How Do You Take B12 Drops?
Liquid drops are a remarkably convenient option for anyone who needs a supplement they can take on the go. But, if you have not taken liquid drops before, you may be unsure of how to properly use them and make the most of their convenience. In this article, we will explore some of the best ways to take B12 liquid drops in particular, discussing both sublingual and oral consumption as well as the optimal factors to ensure efficient absorption.
Oral vs. Sublingual
Liquid drops are a quick and easy way to take any supplement, as they can be dispersed directly into the mouth or added to a favorite drink. Oftentimes, the best vitamin B12 liquid drops can be taken sublingually as well as orally. The word “sublingual” may sound complex, but it is really quite simple. Instead of placing the liquid drops on top of your tongue or drinking them in a beverage, you place them directly beneath the tongue to be absorbed into the bloodstream when taking your supplement sublingually. If you are in search of the most efficient absorption rates possible, then you may want to consider sublingual drops as an option because this method often results in slightly better absorption rates, even compared to the already impressive rates of consuming liquid drops orally (1).
Pay attention to the instructions both on the label of your supplement and provided by your physician when it comes to choosing between oral and sublingual consumption. Some liquid drops can be taken either way, but others may not work as intended if instructions are not followed. For example, a supplement designed only for sublingual consumption may not provide optimal results when directly swallowed. As we mentioned, the main difference between these methods is slightly faster absorption rates, so you can choose depending on your preference and the recommendation of your doctor. There should not be any additional side effects as a result of either choice.
Vitamin B12 Dosage Instructions
Since vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, overdoses and adverse side effects are extremely uncommon, as this particular nutrient is not stored inside the body. Rather, excessive amounts are immediately flushed out when they are detected. That being said, it is still equally as important to make sure you do not consume excessive quantities of your supplement and stick to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Below, we have outlined the vitamin B12 RDA for various demographics according to the National Institutes of Health (2):
- 0 to 6 months old: 0.4 mcg
- 7 to 12 months old: 0.5 mcg
- 1 to 3 years old: 0.9 mcg
- 4 to 8 years old: 1.2 mcg
- 9 to 13 years old: 1.8 mcg
- 14 to 18 years old: 2.4 mcg
- 18+ years old: 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant individuals: 2.6 mcg
- Breastfeeding individuals: 2.8 mcg
Depending on certain circumstances, such as age, pregnancy, or pre-existing health conditions, your dosage may vary from the usual recommended amount. Vitamin B12 deficiency may require you to take a slightly higher dosage than average in order to make up for the lack of this essential nutrient in your body. Vegans and vegetarians are at an increased risk for developing B12 deficiency, as this vitamin is only found in animal products such as beef, poultry, eggs, milk, and cheese. Seniors should keep track of their vitamin B12 consumption as well because the rate of deficiency is also higher in individuals older than 60. But, no matter what your age or situation is, remember to always speak with your physician about your supplement plans in order to ensure you are doing what is best for your body.
When to Take Vitamin B12
Though it may not seem important, the time of day when you take your vitamin B12 supplement can have an impact on your supplement experience. Since B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, it should be taken with a glass of water to facilitate better absorption. Whether you add your B12 liquid drops directly into your water or wash them down with a glass, try to hydrate alongside them so that your body can absorb the entire dosage properly.
One of the most sought-after benefits of taking vitamin B12 is its ability to provide an energy boost. This energy boost occurs as a result of B12’s effect on the metabolism of your cells, helping them convert food into fuel faster and more efficiently. You may feel a boost of energy similar to what you experience from drinking a cup of coffee after consuming your B12 supplement. For this reason, it is generally recommended that you take vitamin B12 early enough in the day to avoid disrupting your sleep schedule (3). In fact, adding B12 liquid drops to your morning routine may be a great way to give yourself the energy you need to kick your day off with a bang!
- Narang, Neha & Jyoti Sharma. “Sublingual Mucosa as a Route for Systemic Drug Delivery.” International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2011, https://innovareacademics.in/journal/ijpps/Vol3Suppl2/1092.pdf.
- “Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Consumers.” National Institutes of Health, 7 July 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer.
- “The Best Time to Take Vitamins.” Cleveland Clinic, 26 April 2021, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-time-to-take-vitamins.