Get to Know Your Nutrients: Vitamin B1 Thiamine



The wellness industry has many compounds and supplements running around. And while some are easier to dissect than others, vitamins have become a bit more complicated since not all vitamins fit all people.

In this article, we’ll follow our small series on getting to know your nutrients, now touching on the incredible vitamin B1 (thiamine). In this guide, you’ll find where you can find it, what vitamin B1 does, and how to use vitamin B1. 

We’ve also arranged a small section to understand if vitamin B1 can help with anxiety and sleep or if it could be a good choice for overall energy for high-performance individuals like athletes.

We’ve got a lot to unpack, so let’s get to know vitamin B1 better and explore the world of Thiamine down below.


Key Takeaways

  • Vitamin B1 is an essential vitamin that plays an important role in our metabolism, mainly by converting food into energy for the cells and keeping a healthy nerve and muscle system.
  • There are different kinds of vitamin B, like riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3), which help with nerve and muscle health in general. Others like B6 and B12 can help you support with stress management.
  • Some plant-based foods that are rich in vitamin B1 include legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Animal foods rich in thiamine include pork, fish like trout or salmon, poultry like turkey and chicken, and eggs.
  • One of the best ways to help you introduce thiamine into your diet is through drinks with dedicated adaptogenic mushrooms and vitamins and minerals like TUNE IN

What is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)?

Let’s start with what is vitamin B1 by taking a look at the compound itself. Vitamin B1, also called thiamine, is basically one of the lesser-known heroes for your body. This vitamin plays a crucial role in energy metabolism, as it helps convert the food you eat into the energy you need.

Firstly, it’s a fully water-soluble vitamin, meaning it can dissolve in water, and it won’t be stored in your body, so you’ll need a steady supply from your diet. Besides its energy-boosting capabilities, thiamine is one of the essential vitamins for brain functions. 

Mainly, it can help boost your nerve cells and muscle cells' communications, aiding with cognitive function and helping the overall network that connects your brain, heart, muscles, and nervous system.

Thiamine can be found in several sources around nature, including plants and animals. And remember how we mentioned it plays a key role? Well, thiamine basically helps to form adenosine triphosphate (in short, ATP), which is the energy source for all the cells in your body.

Now that we’ve broken down this compound let’s go with the different kinds of vitamin B and how they interact with the human body.


Different Kinds of Vitamin B

This compound is pretty complex, as it comes in a pack-like dynamic team, each with a unique role. You’ll usually find eight types of vitamin B, each one with its own special role to fulfill.

For example, vitamin B2, called riboflavin, is generally used for skin health and is a fairly popular ingredient in skincare products. Other vitamins like B3 (niacin) can boost your brain function and also help with skin maintenance, from helping with sebum overproduction.

Other B vitamins can also help with cognitive functions, including B6, which can play a part in mood regulation and overall brain health. B12 is another compound vital for nerve tissue health and other important roles, like red blood cell production.

Each vitamin B family member has their role and often works together in harmony, from aiding each other with energy levels and brain function to supporting cell metabolism. Now that we’ve looked at their siblings let’s talk about what vitamin B1 is good for and some of its potential health benefits.


Health Benefits of Vitamin B1

Thiamine is a pretty interesting compound and is more than just an energy converter. Vitamin B1 is an essential ingredient for brain health, aiding in developing nerve cells and other parts like myelin sheaths properly. Without enough B1, you might be feeling a little bit on the sluggish side, both physically and mentally.

This might happen, too, since thiamine plays a critical role in muscle contraction and the general conduction of signals between the nervous network (specifically, nerve cells). So, in the big picture, having a correct intake of this vitamin is essential to keep your nervous system healthy.

Some users also use thiamine to help them unwind at night because it can help manage nerve cells and energy, aiding with the general stress and relaxation of the body by a proper energy distribution.

We’ve talked about energy, but how does vitamin B1 actually work? 

Well, the most important part is how it can help you convert food into energy, thanks to its properties of helping your cells create ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Think of it as the vitamin that can help you create an energy pack for each of the cells in your body, helping to regulate energy all around.

Overall, it’s one of the nutrients that is important to keep your general system in check. Sadly, humans are not able to keep their vitamin B1 production fully on their own. So, how can you get your vitamin B1 intake? Let’s go over some plant-based foods that can help you with thiamine.


Plant-Based Foods Rich in Vitamin B1

Now, the good news for plant lovers is that there are plenty of plant-based sources of vitamin B1. Some grains like brown rice, whole wheat, and certain nuts contain high quantities of this vitamin.

Legumes like beans and lentils are rich in vitamin B1 and other key compounds for your overall health, like iron. You can also look at nuts such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, macadamias, and pistachios.

Greens like spinach and kale also offer large quantities of vitamin B1, both raw and cooked. You can also mix some nuts and spinach in recipes like pesto so they are easily consumable in your daily food regime.

Now, if you need some protein in your diet, you can also find some animal foods rich in this vitamin. Let’s take a quick look at some products you can also consume.


Animal Foods Rich in Vitamin B1

So, which animal foods or products are rich in thiamine? Particularly, pork is rich in this vitamin, so having this red meat in pork chops or tenderloin can be a great source of thiamine. If you are into seafood, certain fish like trout and salmon are not only very tasty but also excellent sources for B1.

Other poultry products like chicken and turkey can also offer a good amount of this vitamin, especially for the darker cuts of meat. Just make sure to have them every now and then to prevent high cholesterol levels.

Lastly, if you are a brunch person, you are in for a treat. Eggs are a versatile way to incorporate vitamin B1 into your diet. In the end, it all comes down to finding the balance between foods and tasty ways to ensure you are getting enough of this nutrient.


Signs of a B1 Deficiency

Some early signs of B1 deficiency often include fatigue, confusion, and irritability. Some people might also experience different things, like subtle changes in their appetite or feeling weak in general.

These symptoms can easily be overlooked since they can also be common to many conditions. However, they can be an indicator of potential thiamine deficiency. You might also find yourself with very low motivation or feeling physically and mentally groggy.

Now, if you see any of these signs, some symptoms might confirm this. Let’s check some symptoms and possible risk factors for thiamine deficiency as well.


Symptoms of a B1 Deficiency

While some signs of B1 deficiency are less noticeable, there are more noticeable symptoms like weight loss, muscle weakness, and even cardiovascular issues.

Severe deficiency can also lead to things like beriberi, affecting your heart, nervous system, and even muscles. This happens due to a vitamin B1 deficiency, so if you look at rapid muscle loss or cardiovascular complications you might want to ask your healthcare provider.

Other neurological symptoms of thiamine deficiency include numbness in limbs, tingling sensation, and mental disturbances like poor memory skills.

Possible Risk Factors for B1 Deficiency

Some risk factors that might lead to a vitamin B1 deficiency include poor diet habits, chronic alcoholism, and other conditions like Chron’s disease. 

Some food-related conditions like anorexia or bulimia can also be a factor for B1 deficiency due to the lack of thiamine in your body.

Age, overall metabolism, and your dietary regime are all factors that can change your thiamine requirements. Some older adults and pregnant women might need a higher thiamine requirement when compared to young adults, so always make sure to check with your healthcare provider.


What Depletes B1 in Your Body?

Some things can deplete vitamin B1, specifically, some factors that include health habits. Excessive alcohol consumption can be a well-known cause, and it can set back the absorption of vitamin B1.

Other conditions affecting nutrient absorption, like gastrointestinal disorders or even chronic diseases like diabetes or metabolism diagnosis, can lead to lower thiamine levels. Certain medications, like diuretics and other anti-seizure drugs, can lower your thiamine levels.

All of these factors can be fought by using a supplement and increasing your intake of thiamine-rich foods like the examples we gave above.


Is it OK to Take Vitamin B1 Daily?

Yes, it is generally safe to take vitamin B1 every day. As it is a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored in fat storage like other compounds. 

And since humans don’t produce enough on our own, you must have a regular intake and stick to the recommended dietary intake of this compound.

Now, as with all other minerals and supplements, it is best to ask your healthcare provider first to check if it could interact with other medicines or treatments you take.


What is the Best Form of Vitamin B1 to Take?

Now, choosing the best form to take vitamin B1 often depends on your own individual needs, health conditions, and wellness goals. Thiamine is available in several forms in a supplement, including thiamine nitrate and thiamine hydrochloride, which are both highly absorbable.

You can also add different foods to your diet, from plant-based ingredients like greens, nuts, legumes, or seeds to animal products like seafood, poultry, and eggs. 

That said, using supplements in drink form is generally the easiest way to get your intake as it requires minimum effort, while also being very versatile to take on the go.


Easiest Ways to Add B1 to Your Daily Routine

One of the easiest ways to add vitamin B1 to your diet is through premade drinks like TUNE IN, a powdered drink made by VYU that can support your overall health with delicious flavors and all-natural ingredients.

This drink is available in two tasty options: Strawberry Lemonade and Fruit Punch, which give you variety to add essential vitamins and minerals to your diet. TUNE IN currently has all-natural nootropic and adaptogenic ingredients that can potentially enhance your cognitive functions.

With ingredients that mix ancient medicine practices with ingredients like ashwagandha, lion’s mane, Rhodiola rosea, and cordyceps, but also mixing newer compounds like alpha GPC and two types of vitamin B, including B and B1, it can support your overall health and energy levels.


Final Thoughts

We’ve come to the end of our quick guide on getting to know your nutrients: vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. We first checked where it comes from, some ingredients from plant-based to animal foods that are rich in them, and the different health benefits you can get from this essential nutrient.

We also checked some of the best ways to add this nutrient to your routine, including drinks, supplements, or even simply enriching your current diet with different foods like nuts, seeds, greens, poultry, eggs, and seafood.

The best way, however, is TUNE IN, a drink that has adaptogenic ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients with an all-natural ingredient list, low-calorie, and no caffeine products that can boost your everyday mood and energy, while helping your vitamin B1 intake.


Vitamin B1: FAQs

What Does B1 Vitamin Help With?

Vitamin B1 can help with energy metabolism, helping your body convert food into energy. It can also support your brain, muscle, and nervous system health, aiding in nerve signal transmission and a steady heartbeat.

Who Should Not Take Vitamin B1?

While, in general, thiamine is considered safe for most people, individuals with specific health conditions or allergies should be cautious. There are people with an allergy to thiamine or certain diagnoses that might interact with supplements, like some heart or kidney diseases.

Does B1 Help With Anxiety?

While thiamine is not a direct treatment for anxiety, it can help by playing a role in keeping a healthy nervous system and potentially supporting stress levels. While not a cure or treatment on its own, keeping good levels of this vitamin can support general brain health and stress management.

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