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How Quickly Does a B12 Shot Work?

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A hand holding a vial of B12.

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient your body needs to maintain good health. It’s necessary for proper brain function, the production of red blood cells, and DNA synthesis. Sadly, many people suffer from a deficiency of this vital nutrient.

A B12 shot is one way to address this deficiency quickly and efficiently, energizing your body. One of the most common questions patients ask when considering a B12 shot is how quickly they can expect to feel the effects. A B12 shot typically starts working within 12–28 hours. By planning ahead, you can help yourself feel the effects of B12 when you need it.

Do I Need a B12 Boost?

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that our body needs to carry out different vital functions, including:

  • Brain and nervous system function
  • Formation of red blood cells
  • Creating and regulating DNA
  • Cognitive function
  • Protecting the eyes from macular degeneration and vision loss
  • Energy production

The daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 varies depending on age, gender, and health status. For adults and teens over 14, the recommended intake is 2.4 micrograms per day

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs. However, it’s not found in plant-based foods, which is why vegans and vegetarians are at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Some manufacturers may fortify their vegan options with vitamin B12

Some health conditions, such as pernicious anemia or Crohn’s disease, may also require higher doses of vitamin B12.

B12 Deficiency

B12 deficiency can affect your brain and energy levels, making facing the day a constant struggle. It can be hard to recognize a B12 deficiency, as the symptoms can be vague and are primarily cognitive.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency may include:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes

Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell production, so long-term deficiency can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and an irregular heartbeat.

The Effects of a B12 Shot

The effects of a B12 shot can vary from person to person. Some individuals claim they feel the effects almost immediately, while others may take a few days before any noticeable difference occurs. This is generally faster than supplements since B12 shots are injected directly into the muscle. This allows the vitamin to bypass the gastric system.

For people who have trouble absorbing B12, this may be the best way to receive the vitamin. 

The speed at which a B12 shot works can also depend on the severity of the deficiency. Vitamins tend to work in a system of “use and replenish.” Vitamin B12 travels through the bloodstream and is eventually expelled through urine. If your intake doesn’t keep up with the rate at which your body uses B12, it creates a deficiency.

The longer this goes on, the larger the deficiency gets. This could reach the point where natural intake can’t make up the difference. If you have a health condition or lifestyle that makes absorbing B12 difficult, these shots may take longer to work. 

There’s no “one size fits all” answer to how quickly B12 shots work.

B12 Shot Benefits

B12 shots can be effective at addressing a deficiency quickly and effortlessly. They can bolster your natural energy levels and balance mood cycles, countering the problems related to low B12 levels. Because the risk of B12 overdose is so low, there’s no upper limit for B12 intake.

Moreover, they provide an almost immediate energy boost and good mental clarity. Together, these benefits make a B12 shot an excellent choice for individuals who want to increase their energy levels and enhance their general well-being. However, they aren’t a cure-all and can’t replace a healthy lifestyle.

Patients with more than adequate levels of B12 may notice little effect.

Close up of several vials of B12.

How Often Should I Get a B12 Shot?

The frequency of B12 shots can vary depending on your needs. If your B12 deficiency is due to your diet, you may only need a single shot to normalize your levels, and the rest can be maintained with a nutritious diet. But, if you have a severe or chronic vitamin B12 deficiency, you may need repeated shots until the levels are replenished, followed by occasional maintenance shots.

When scheduling a B12 shot, consider when you need the effects. Working with a healthcare professional can determine a schedule that helps you feel the energy and clarity a B12 shot can bring.

Energize Your Day With REVIV Vitamin Boosters

A B12 shot offers a near-instant boost of energy and clarity. They can be a key part of a healthcare routine for those who have difficulty eating foods that contain enough B12 or are feeling chronic fatigue and need a jumpstart.

Zulu Medical Cosmetics offers REVIV booster shots to deliver essential nutrients directly into your system, avoiding the prolonged absorption process pills or foods require. If you’re looking to energize your day, request an appointment for REVIV vitamin shots and ask about our VIP membership pricing.


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  • Written by Dr. Jeane Lombard

    Dr. Lombard was born and raised in South Africa. In 1998, she graduated from the University of Pretoria with her medical degree. She worked as a physician in London, England from 1998 to 2002. In 2002, Dr. Lombard made the decision to move to Canada. She became a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada that same year, allowing her to practice medicine in Saskatoon, Canmore, and Calgary.

    Dr. Lombard has been working as a medical professional for over 21 years, and in that time, she has discovered a deep passion for the cosmetic side of medicine. Today, she specializes in cosmetic procedures, boasting 13 years in the industry.
    With deep compassion for her patients and a professional commitment to exemplary care, Dr. Lombard prioritizes health and safety over all else. When she isn’t hard at work, Dr. Lombard likes to spend time with friends in the mountains, enjoying good food and fine wine.

    More Articles by Dr. Jeane Lombard


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