The Correlation Between Vitamin Deficiencies And Energy Levels

Vitamin deficiencies often happen when we either don't eat enough nutrient rich foods and/or we don't supplement with vitamins and minerals adequately. One of the most common issues clients experience coming into coaching are low energy levels. When we take a look at what they're eating on a regular basis, we often find that the client is missing crucial vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health, energy levels, and the aesthetic they're after. 

Vitamin B1 & B2 Deficiencies

We need thiamine (B1) to convert carbohydrates into energy (ATP). Riboflavin (B2) helps release energy in the Krebs cycle (the process by which our bodies generate energy).

Food Sources Include: beef, liver, nuts, oats, oranges, legumes, pork, eggs, seeds, peas and yeast.

Vitamin B6 Deficiencies

We need vitamin B6’s active form pyridoxine-5′-phosphate (PLP) to make the amino acids L- tryptophan and L-dopa into the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both of which are important for cognitive function and focus. Vitamin B6 is also important for our cells’ mitochondria (power plant), helping to regulate the enzymes we use to draw energy from food.

Food Sources Include: pork, chicken, turkey, fish, brown rice, oats, eggs, vegetables, milk, carrots, and eggs

Vitamin B12 Deficiencies

We need vitamin B12 to protect and preserve the myelin sheath, which covers neurons and helps conduct the electrical signals sent around the body. B12 helps make neurotransmitters and metabolize fats and carbohydrates, which are your main energy sources.

Food Sources Include: beef, liver, nuts, oats, oranges, legumes, pork, eggs, seeds, peas and yeast.

Vitamin C Deficiencies

We need vitamin C to make carnitine, which transports long-chain fatty acids to the mitochondria to be used for energy. Vitamin C also helps us produce catecholamines, a group of hormones and neurotransmitters (such as adrenaline [epinephrine] and dopamine) that are usually stimulants.

Food Sources Include: broccoli, cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi, cauliflower, sweet potato, tomatoes, and strawberries

Magnesium Deficiencies

We need magnesium for metabolic reactions, especially those that convert food into energy. Having more magnesium seems to improve cognitive abilities, while not enough seems to make cognition worse. Without enough magnesium in our cells, insulin doesn’t work as well, which makes it hard for us to use glucose. Many enzymes that help us convert food into energy need magnesium.

Food Sources Include: almond, spinach, tofu, banana, dark chocolate, avocado, legumes, seeds, whole grains, and some fatty fish

Calcium Deficiencies 

Calcium helps to turn fatty acids into energy; it helps to modulate ATP production (aka our bodies’ fuel). As with magnesium, without enough calcium, our insulin may not work properly. Insulin is one of the main hormones of blood sugar regulation, which affects our energy levels.

Food Sources Include: milk, cheese, dairy, green leafy veggies, tofu, soya drinks & beans, and nuts

Zinc Deficiencies

Zinc is a trace mineral, so we don’t need a lot, but we definitely need some. Zinc contributes to at least 100 enzymes in our body, many of which have to do with energy metabolism. When zinc is low, we don’t secrete as much insulin (which then causes problems with glucose metabolism); nor do we metabolize lipids (fats) nor protein well. If we don’t get enough zinc, we don’t get proper energy from food nor build proteins/muscle.

Food Sources Include: meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains


Our brains depend on electrolytes — dissolved ions of minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium — to work properly. We need to carefully balance our electrolytes and fluid to send chemical and electrical signals in the brain (aka neurotransmission). If we get enough water, we maintain that balance. If we’re dehydrated, our brain (and our thinking) suffers.

Supplements For Vitamin Deficiencies

While we always recommend a food first approach to health, wellness, and nutrition, if you’re unable to consume these micronutrients in their appropriate levels every single day, supplements can bridge the gaps in your nutrition. It’s hard to get all the nutrients you need in a single day just from food alone.


A good multivitamin, for example can bridge the gaps in your nutrition and fill in the gaps. We recommend choosing a multivitamin that doesn’t have too high of nutrient values, so that you just get some from the supplement, not all. We trust Swolverine for ours and our client’s supplement needs.

Other Supplements For Vitamin Deficiencies:

Vitamin Deficiencies: Takeaway

What you eat goes farther than just how it is going to make you feel or how it is going to make you look. If you want to improve your energy levels then we recommend incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your dietary lifestyle so that you can reduce the chance of vitamin deficiencies. In doing so, you'll see your overall food intake quality improve as well as those well sought after energy levels.


The Swole Kitchen provides 1:1 nutrition coaching, macro coaching, and custom meal plans to help guide you to becoming the best version of yourself. We teach you how to enjoy the foods you love in the right amounts, so you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans, hit your health and fitness goals, and be healthy and happy. We guide you through making sound nutritional decisions and teach you along the way, so you can learn how to take control of your health, and discover what if feels like to live again.
Tags: Wellness