Best B12 supplements for tiredness

We tested the best B12 supplements to support your wellness

woman taking a b12 supplement with water
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best B12 supplements can help to improve your health and wellbeing, particularly if you are on a vegetarian or plant-based diet. B12 deficiency is a problem that can cause loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, and heart palpitations, as it is used in many internal bodily functions. Vital for the formation of DNA and red blood cells, vitamin B12 also helps us to use the protein that we eat, which is why weight loss is a common symptom of a deficiency.  The many benefits of vitamin B12 include supporting the nervous system and mental health, making it an important nutrient for mental wellbeing. 

When testing the best b12 vitamins, we’ve considered ease of swallowing, recommended dosage, whether or not they are vegan friendly, and value for money. We’ve also noted any aftertaste, the percentage of your daily requirements each supplement provides, and its bioavailability. Most of the options we’ve reviewed come in packs of 60, with a couple of options providing 100 capsules per pack.

The supplements range in price from a basic, reliable option such as Natrol, to more premium options such as those offered by brands Ritual or Thorne. If you’re not worried about getting a B12 supplement that is vegan-friendly, the option offered by Basic Nutrition has no aftertaste and is easy to swallow. Or for added calcium, the Hum Nutrition B12 Turbo is a highly bioavailable vegan option. 

For those looking for the best B12 supplement, we’ve found the top options on the market and tested them ourselves, so you know that they’re worth your investment. If you’re worried about fatigue or wondering does B12 give you energy, then one of the best B12 supplements for tiredness can help with energy levels, as it is one of the 7 essential nutrients that vegans often lack.

The best B12 supplements you can buy right now

Natrol B12Fit&Well Awards: Editor's Choice

(Image credit: Meg Walters)

1. Natrol Vitamin B12

Best B12 supplements overall

Specifications

Recommended dosage: 1 capsule per day
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Capsules per unit: 100
Easy to swallow: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good value  
+
No need to take water with them 

Reasons to avoid

-
Very high dosage of B12 which may be unnecessary  
-
Some users don’t like the flavor 

While brands such as Ritual are kind of like the pricey hipster coffee shop of supplements, Natrol is more like the dependable no-frills local cafe. The brand has been around since 1980 and has since become one of the most recognizable supplement suppliers on the market — you will find their products just about everywhere supplements are sold. It comes as no surprise that this brand's packaging isn't particularly stylish. The capsules come in a white bottle with a purple lid and a purple and green label. 

The Vitamin B12 Fast Dissolve in strawberry offers vitamin B12 as cyanocobalamin at a rate of 5,000 mcg per serving — that's 208,330% of the daily recommended value. There are some known side effects of taking too much vitamin B12. However, even if you don't need this much B12, you should always speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement. The capsules also contain wheat, xylitol, starch, malic acid, beetroot extract, and citric acid.

I found these capsules an interesting alternative to other B12 options. The fast dissolve technology means the small round capsules dissolve on the tongue — in other words, you don't need to wash them down with water. The strawberry flavor is quite pleasant and makes it easy to wait the 30 seconds or so it takes the capsule to dissolve.  The Natrol B12 supplements are a cost-effective option that will last you for just over three months. However, while I enjoyed the experience of taking these capsules, I'm still not sold on the idea that 5,000mcg is really necessary.

As with the Ritual supplements, the Natrol option is vegan-friendly. You do get 100 capsules to a unit, however, and you only need to take one a day so they offer better value than the Ritual supplements. 

What the users say:

On the Natrol website, the B12 supplements have a rating of 4.8/5. On Amazon, this product has a rating of 4.7/5. Users praise the fact that you don’t need to take these supplements with water. Some reviews claim the flavor is ‘a little off’ and doesn’t quite taste like strawberries. One user added that because the dosage of B12 is so high, they didn’t need to take these supplements every day.


B12 Ritual

(Image credit: Meg Walters)

2. Ritual Essential for Women Multivitamin

Best B12 supplement with added benefits

Specifications

Recommended dosage: 2 capsules per day
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Capsules per unit: 60
Easy to swallow: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to swallow 
+
Slow release vitamins 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive  
-
Bad after taste 

Ritual is a well-known supplement brand known for its promise to bring you ethical, vegan vitamins with traceable ingredients. Unlike some other supplement brands, Ritual has a modern, stylish approach to packaging. The Multivitamin comes in a clear, minimalist package with simple white accents. Even the capsules themselves, with their tiny white 'beadlets' are pretty attractive. 

This multivitamin contains 8mcg of vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, or 333% of your daily value. The supplement is suitable for vegans. This vitamin also contains a range of other vitamins to support healthy bodily functioning including folate, Omega-3 DHA, vitamin D, iron, and vitamin K2. What makes this vitamin unique is the patented 'beadlet in oil' technology. The technology allows oily and dry ingredients to be effectively stored together in one capsule. The capsules are delayed-release which means they dissolve in the small intestine rather than the stomach, which in turn means your body can absorb the nutrients more easily. 

When I tried the Ritual multivitamin, I have to say I was impressed. The chic packaging initially caught my eye. I found the capsules fairly easy to swallow thanks to their shape, although they do have a slightly oily texture. The bottle also contains a mint tab giving the capsules a minty, fresh flavor. However, I did experience some post-vitamin after tastes with a pretty unpleasant flavor. I also found the capsules repeated on me for a while after taking them.

I really appreciated the small indications on the side of the package that helps you discern how many days' worth of capsules remain in the bottle. At $30 a bottle, these pills are more expensive than most other vitamin B12 options — in fact, it comes to exactly $1 per serving. But, if you're willing to pay more for a nice bottle, ingredient transparency, and promising delayed-release technology, these might just be the best vitamin B12 supplements for you.

What the users say:

On Ritual's website, this product has an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars. Users praise the vitamins for being sustainable, well packaged, and suitable for vegans. There are some reviews that mark down the vitamins for the after taste. However, some reviews praise the initial mint flavor but would have liked to see a plastic-free bottle. 


Now B12

(Image credit: Meg Walters)

3. Now Foods B12

Best B12 supplement for vegans

Specifications

Recommended dosage: 1 capsule per day
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Capsules per unit: 100
Easy to swallow: Could be better

Reasons to buy

+
Good value
+
High dosage per tablet  

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be easier to swallow 
-
Didn’t taste great  

Now Foods is a family-owned US-based brand that has been offering all-natural supplements for over 50 years. Its B12 supplement comes in a small white bottle with a purple lid with an orange and purple label. Each capsule contains 1mg of vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, which is just over 40,000% of your recommended daily intake. It also contains folate.

The capsules are suitable for vegans and I found them fairly easy to take — you simply let one dissolve on the tongue per day, or, it can be chewed. I wasn't thrilled with the slight medicinal sweet taste and I also found that they took a little longer to dissolve than I expected. 

At $12.99 per 100 servings, Now Foods is a relatively good value option. Like Natrol, this vitamin dissolves on the tongue and contains a very high quantity of B12 — this large amount of B12 is probably not necessary for most people. However, if you have a B12 deficiency, this option may help you to restore your B12 levels quickly. 

What the users say

On Amazon, this product has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, whereas at Walmart, this product has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Users praise this supplement for being good value for money and the fact that is gluten-free and suitable for vegans. Some reviewers take off a star or two because of the taste of these vitamins stating they have a ‘fake fruity flavor’.  


Ancient Nutrients B12

(Image credit: Meg Walters)

4. Ancient Nutrition Vitamin B12

The best B12 supplements for tasteless capsules

Specifications

Recommended dosage: 1 capsule per day
Suitable for vegans: No
Capsules per unit: 30
Easy to swallow: Uncomfortable

Reasons to buy

+
High dosage
+
Tasteless capsules

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for vegans 
-
Difficult to swallow 

Created by two natural health experts, Ancient Nutrition is a newer supplement brand that aims to combine ancient Chinese medicine with modern science. The packaging is stylish — the B12 supplement comes in a black bottle with a black label with gold, white and purple accents.

The Ancient Nutrition B12 has 30 capsules, each of which contains 20 mcg of vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin — that's 833% of your daily recommended intake. It also contains the brand's 'TCM (Traditional Chinese Method) Blend', which aims to bring "a holistic approach to your daily vitamin B-12 supplement" and to "support the body as a complete system rather than separate organs, a larger concept known as 'Qi.'" It includes bovine liver, Fo-Ti Root, Chicken Bone Broth, Beef Bone Broth, and other real food ingredients. According to Ancient Nutrition, this blend can help to support endurance during high-intensity exercise, support the functioning of the immune system and balance and support 'the life force'. While TCM is certainly full of possibilities, more studies are needed (opens in new tab) to determine the full effects on our health. 

I found the capsules somewhat easy to swallow, although you can feel them going down your throat. I was also struck by the slight foody smell in the bottle. However, the capsules are completely tasteless. At $29.95 a bottle for 30 servings, this is a more expensive option. However, if you are interested in adding TCM to your daily dietary routine, this brand could be one for you. 

Ancient Nutrition’s B12 isn’t suitable for vegans so that may be a problem for some but the real benefit here what that I found the capsules tasteless so there weren’t any aftertastes to contend with. 

What the users say:

On Amazon, this product has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. At Target, this product has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Users praise the high-quality ingredients and the fact you only need to take one capsule a day. Some customers noted that they found the product expensive based on how many capsules they get in each unit. 


hum nutrition vitamin b12 turbo

(Image credit: Alice Ball)

5. HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo

Best B12 supplement with added calcium

Specifications

Recommended dosage: 1 tablet
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Capsules per unit : 30
Easy to swallow: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Vegan-friendly
+
No artificial sweeteners or colors

Reasons to avoid

-
One container only lasts a month
-
You don't want added calcium 

HUM was founded by two friends “on a mission to make people feel good in their skin and bodies”. All of its products come in a black jar, with a bold colored label. In the case of the B12 Turbo, this is red with white accents. The tablets themselves are round and light pink.

Each tablet contains 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin – that’s 41,667% of your daily value. The brand claims the product “boosts energy levels” and “supports nervous system function”. It also contains 30 mg of calcium (3% of your daily value) to “promote healthy bone mass to keep your body strong”. One unit contains 30 tablets and costs $10, lasting you one month.

A real draw of Hum’s B12 turbo is that it is vegan friendly, particularly as those following a vegan diet are more at risk of B12 deficiency. All of HUM’s products are manufactured in facilities that follow Good Manufacturing Processes (GMPs), required by the FDA. They are also gluten-free and non-GMO. 

While the tablets aren’t coated, they are really small. We found them super easy to swallow and completely tasteless. However, we couldn’t believe how little of the packaging 30 tablets took up. Even though the container is fairly small, the supplements don’t even take up ⅛ of the unit. This seemed like a waste of plastic to us.

What the users say:

HUM's B12 Turbo scores an impressive 4.6 out of five stars on Amazon, with users liking how clean it is compared to a lot of other B12 supplements. One user commented, “I love it. Seems to really give me the extra energy I need during the day,” while another said, “...this little guy is easy to swallow and I get all the nutrition that may be missing from my day.”  


thorne vitamin b12 supplement

(Image credit: Alice Ball)

Thorne Vitamin B12

The best B12 supplements for easy swallowing

Specifications

Recommended dosage: 1 capsule
Suitable for vegans: Doesn't say
Capsules per unit: 60
Easy to swallow: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny capsules are easy to swallow
+
Highly bioavailable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively expensive
-
Wasted packaging 

Thorne is a trusted supplement company that aims to “empower individuals to live healthier for longer through personalized scientific testing and solutions”. Its vitamin B12 supplement comes in a small white container with blue accents. Each tablet contains 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, which is 41,667% of your daily value. According to Thorne, “clinical evidence indicates that the body uses methylcobalamin more efficiently than cyanocobalamin”, which is used in some B12 supplements. This makes the nutrients highly bioavailable.

Thorne recommends taking one capsule, one to three times daily or as recommended by your health professional. Good news for those who don’t really like swallowing tablets – the capsules are tiny, and therefore super easy to swallow. We can also confirm that they are completely tasteless.

One unit contains 60 capsules (lasting you around two months) and retails at $20. While the product is not suitable for vegans, it is gluten-free, dairy free and soy free, as well as being derived from natural flavors and natural colors, so there are no added nasties.

What the users say:

Reviews for Thorne Vitamin B12 supplement are extremely positive, with the product scoring 4.8 stars on iherb. One customer wrote, “It’s such a clean supplement that I got it to take an empty stomach in the morning. It’s hard to find this great quality of a supplement.” 

Why take B12 supplements?

Ultimately, vitamin B12 is a vital part of any diet and many people can benefit from taking a B12 supplement. But, of course, everyone has different needs and the best vitamin B12 supplements might differ from person to person. 

Most people can take vitamin B12 supplements, however, for some people, it can be especially important, such as:

  • Vegetarians or vegans
  • People over 50
  • People with pernicious anemia, canker sores, cataracts, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, and/or fatique

Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if you have any ongoing health concerns.

How we tested

Each of the products included in this guide was tested by our expert journalist. Supplements will affect each and every person slightly differently so we’ve been using these vitamins to give you a better idea of what they contain, and anything you need to be aware of before taking them. Below are the criteria we tested each product for. 

Ingredients

It’s super important to us that you know exactly what we tested and why and our first starting point is always to find out exactly what ingredients are in a B12 supplement, especially if it’s a multivitamin. We then compare this against your daily recommended dosage and decipher whether you can get enough B12 from these supplements. 

Recommended dosage

We made sure to note how much of each supplement you are required to take and how much often. This gave us a clear indication of whether a product offered good value for money or not.

Suitability 

Not all vitamins and supplements will be suitable for everyone which is why we take note of whether a B12 supplement is suitable for vegans or have gluten-free diets. 

Cost and value for money 

Getting the nutrients you need shouldn’t have to cost any more than necessary so we compared pricing across all the B12 supplements we tested to see whether the more expensive capsules were worth the money and if the cheaper supplements still contain everything you need.  

Easiness to swallow & taste

For some, taking capsules or tablets can be very challenging so we test each and every B12 supplement by taking them ourselves and observing how easy they are to swallow. Some supplements are dissolvable on your tongue so we time how long this process takes.

The taste, while subjective, is another important factor we test. We try each capsule and note down whether they taste like the intended flavor or anything else you may need to know about after tastes too.

Features
When we test B12 supplements, we note anything that makes one supplement stand out over the others. We ask if any of the supplements claim to do something that others don’t, and we also consider the overall aesthetics of the product as well as whether 

Meg is a freelance journalist and features writer based in the UK. She covers culture, entertainment, lifestyle and health. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Shondaland, Healthline, HelloGiggles, Reader’s Digest, Apartment Therapy, and more.