B12 Shots: How Quickly Do They Work?

By Hydration Room September 8, 2021
B12 Shots: How Quickly Do They Work?

Individuals looking to increase their B12 levels may be wondering, “How quickly does a B12 shot work?” Ultimately, this can depend on a number of factors such as your B12 intake and how effectively your body can process B12. Before we give you a possible time frame to expect your B12 shot to work, consider your relationship with B12.

Do you intake enough B12? Does your body actually use the B12 you supply it with? 

B12 Intake

Vitamin B12 is largely supposed to be ingested through your daily diet. In an ideal situation, as your body uses B12, you are replenishing your B12 levels by eating foods that contain the vitamin. In other words, you get more B12 at the same rate you use it.

This isn’t practical for individuals who suffer from chronic B12 deficiency or frequently deplete the entirety of their B12 stores. The daily intake of B12 isn’t able to keep up with B12 the body is using. One solution is to give your body a larger dose of B12 all at once. B12 shots provide a concentrated dose of B12 directly to the bloodstream. For someone who has difficulty in taking B12 due to underlying health conditions or diet, this helps offset the need for daily small increments of B12.

B12 Absorption

Because we get B12 through our diet, the absorption process happens during digestion. However, many factors can impact our absorption, either limiting it or preventing it altogether. This usually occurs in individuals with underlying digestive conditions, who have trouble absorbing all nutrients through digestion, or pernicious anemia which specifically prevents B12 absorption.

When your body does absorb B12, it then takes time for the vitamin to be distributed throughout the body and more time for the body to use it in a way that is noticeable. This is why patients with low B12 levels can be prescribed B12 shots instead of supplements.

B12 shots bypass the digestive process as they are administered through the bloodstream. The bloodstream acts as the body’s delivery system, so the B12 is able to be delivered that much faster and can immediately start being used by the body.

The Short Answer

So really, how quickly does a B12 shot work? Most patients report feeling the effects of a B12 shot anywhere from 12-48 hours . Imagine how much longer that would be if you still had to ingest, break down, and absorb the B12 before the 12-48 hour time period started.

Some patients, usually those with chronically low levels of B12, may notice results faster than this, but this could also be attributed to the power of positive thinking or the placebo effect. Other patients may notice less extreme results that indicate your B12 levels were already near the healthy target.

If you’re scheduling a B12 shot and have a certain time where you want to be sure the shot has taken effect, such as finals week or before a big event like a wedding, aim for an appointment one to two days before the date in question. This will give your body all the time it needs to effectively utilize the B12.

Healthy B12 levels rely entirely on effective B12 intake and absorption. For individuals who have difficulty eating foods that provide their body with enough B12, a B12 shot is an alternative that won’t compromise your other dietary needs. If the issue lies with absorption, B12 shots are administered through the bloodstream, meaning they do not need to be absorbed through the digestive process. Depending on your B12 levels at the time you receive a B12 shot, expect to see results anywhere from 12-48 hours.

For more information on B12 shots or help scheduling an appointment, find your closest Hydration Room location.

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