The Best B12 Vitamins of 2022

B12 Pills


What Are Vitamins | Nutrient-Dense Foods | Fat-Soluble Vs. Water-Soluble Vitamins | Best Vitamin D Supplements | Best Magnesium Supplements | Best Iron Supplements | Best Vitamins for Energy | Best Beet Supplements | Best Vitamin B12 Supplements | Best Calcium Supplements

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is one of 13 essential vitamins that the human body cannot operate properly without. It has a number of super important functions, among the most notable being nervous system development, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis. Especially important for athletes, B12 also serves an important role in energy metabolism and even affects digestion, leaving its mark on how you absorb foods. Common food sources of vitamin B12 include tuna, salmon, clams, beef, milk, yogurt, eggs, and fortified cereals. The recommended daily intake for adults is 2.4 micrograms, with pregnant and lactating women needing slightly more, which is why many prenatal vitamins include B12.

The two populations at the highest risk for vitamin B12 deficiency are older adults and vegans. In older adults, this is due to a reduced ability to absorb B12, whereas in vegans it’s due to a lack of dietary sources. Signs of deficiency include mild anemia (low red blood cells), fatigue, pale skin, and weight loss. Deficiency is rare because the body can store B12 for years.

As it may be difficult for some people to meet their B12 needs from diet alone, they may want to take a supplement. Vitamin B12 supplements come in a variety of forms. Which you choose is a matter of preference. To help you select the right B12 supplement for you, the ACTIVE Reviews Team has done the work for you, identifying the best B12 vitamins of 2022.

Why Trust Us?

The health and safety of ACTIVE’s readers is of the utmost importance to us. To ensure your well-being when consuming vitamin supplements, we prioritize products that are independently tested by a third-party. Additionally, we consulted with ACTIVE’s Advisory Board, which includes nutritionists, competitive athletes, coaches, and certified trainers, to make certain that the products that we feature are of the highest standards. The ACTIVE Reviews Team is passionate about bringing you products that we trust and would personally use.

Best B12 Vitamins - Our Top Picks

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full affiliate disclosure Here.

What to Consider When Shopping for B12 Vitamins

There are a number of things that should not be overlooked when you’re shopping for a B12 supplement. Here are the main factors to keep in mind when browsing the web for B12.

Chemical Form

B12 supplements come in a few different forms. It’s important to know the differences between them and which is best for you. The main forms found in supplements include cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. The former, cyanocobalamin, is synthetic and must be converted in the body before it can be utilized. The latter, methylcobalamin, is a more naturally occurring form and does not need to be converted in the body, making it slightly better absorbed.

Method of Administration

In addition to the different chemical forms, B12 also comes in several physical forms, including capsules, gummies, chewable tablets, sublingual lozenges, nose spray, and liquid. They even come in an injectable form, though this would have to be administered by a qualified healthcare provider. While the nose sprays and injectable B12s are the best absorbed, there is not much of a difference in absorption among the over-the-counter versions. Therefore, you’ll have to decide which form of administration you prefer.

Dose

The proper dose of Vitamin B12 will vary by your age, gender, and specific reasons for taking it. You only need 2.4 micrograms per day, and when you supplement with B12, your body can actually absorb only a small percentage of the dose. Even so, B12 supplements typically provide anywhere from 250-5,000 micrograms. The best way to determine the proper dose is to have your blood B12 levels checked to see how low they are. Your doctor may then recommend a specific dose. In general, if you are looking to take B12 preventatively, it’s best to start with a lower dose of 250-1,000 micrograms. Try using a pill organizer to make sure you take the proper dosage consistently each day.

Our Rating Scale

Price/Affordability:

Prices depend on a number of factors, and tend to fluctuate over time, so we’ve kept our affordability rating scale simple so you can easily see how products compare.

$ = under $1 per serving
$$ = $1-2 per serving
$$$ = over $2 per serving

Flavor Options:

When it comes to dietary supplements that you take frequently, or even daily, options are important. And while your protein powder or pre-workout doesn’t have to taste good to be effective, having several flavors to choose from can make it easier to stick with your fitness and health goals.

N/A = Unflavored
1 = 1-2 flavor options
2 = 3-4 flavor options
3 = 5 or more flavor options

Best Overall B12 Vitamin - Ancient Nutrition Vitamin B12 Capsules

Ancient Nutrients Vitamin B12 Capsules

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Source/type: Methylated B12 capsule
  • Serving size: 1 capsule daily
  • Count: 30

Check Price

Ancient Nutrition’s Vitamin B12 capsules topped our list for the best overall B12 vitamin for a few key reasons. First off, it contains a manageable dose of 20 micrograms of B12 that is safe for daily consumption. Some brands provide excessive doses that are unnecessary for most people. Second, the formula uses methylated-B12, a more naturally occurring form that is better absorbed in the body.

As an added bonus, Ancient Nutrients Vitamin B12 contains a traditional Chinese medicine-inspired adaptogen nutrient blend. Adaptogens are types of plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and promote a sense of well-being. Just as bumping tunes through your favorite headphones can help ease your mind, adaptogens may help athletes cope with the high stress lifestyles associated with intense physical training, though data in this area is limited. For active individuals looking for a daily supplement to maintain their B12 levels, this should be a fitting option.

PROS

  • Lower dose is suitable for daily use
  • Contains adaptogen nutrient blend
  • Methylated-B12 for better absorption

CONS

  • Dose may be too low for some
  • Contains nutrient blend, making it hard to distinguish the amount of each ingredient
  • Expensive compared to other versions

BUY: Ancient Nutrition Vitamin B12 Capsules

Best Vegan B12 Vitamin - Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 5000mcg

/Assets/Active.com+Content+Site+Digital+Assets/Fitness/B12/Amazon+Elements+Vitamin+B12+5000mcg.jpg

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Source/type: Methylated B12 lozenge
  • Dosage: 1 lozenge, 5,000 mcg
  • Count: 65

Check Price

Because they don’t eat animal products that contain B12, vegans are particularly at risk for a deficiency. While there are certainly plant sources of B12 available, such as nutritional yeast, some vegans may still find it difficult to meet their needs. In that case, they may consider taking a supplement to ensure they are getting enough B12. A routine blood test can tell you your B12 status. When it came to picking the best vegan B12 vitamin, Amazon Elements 5000 mcg B12 got our vote.

At a reasonable price point, this supplement provides a healthy 5,000 microgram dose of the methylated form of B12, which ensures optimal absorption. It comes in the form of a berry-flavored lozenge that you dissolve on your tongue, so the B12 is partially absorbed through your oral tissues. The label instructs users to take one lozenge daily, but considering the high dose, you may need to take it only a few times per week. It’s best to check with your healthcare provider on this. Manufactured in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility and certified vegan, Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 supplement is a solid option for vegans looking to optimize their B12.

PROS

  • High-dose formula provides good value
  • Uses methylated form of B12 for optimal absorption
  • Lozenge form is great for those who don’t enjoy swallowing pills
  • Vegan-friendly

CONS

  • Dose may be too high for some people
  • Contains sugar alcohols that may not agree with some users

BUY: Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 5000mcg

Best Softgel B12 Vitamin - Nature Made B12 Softgels

Nature Made B12 Softgel

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): N/A
  • Source/Type: Cyanocobalamin Softgel
  • Serving size: 1 softgel daily
  • Count: 400, 150, 90

Check Price

Nutrition supplements come in all shapes and sizes, with some much easier to take than others. B12 supplements are no exception. Generally speaking, people find softgels easier to swallow than tablets or capsules, and softgels tend to dissolve quicker in the stomach than tablets. When vetting the top options in this category, we found Nature Made B12 Softgels to be the best softgel B12 vitamin.

With a 1,000 microgram dose of the cyanocobalamin form of B12, you can take this supplement daily without a high risk of toxicity. Although cyanocobalamin requires some conversion in the body before it can be utilized, it’s still a good choice for maintaining your B12 levels. As an added bonus, this product’s packaging is climate pledge friendly if you’re concerned about sustainability. For active people of any age in search of a standard daily B12 softgel, Nature Made B12 Softgels is your top option.

PROS

  • Dose suitable for daily use
  • Capsule form for ease of swallowing
  • Product comes in different quantities, depending on your needs
  • Good value when purchased in bulk size

CONS

  • Uses cyanocobalamin form, which may be less-well absorbed
  • Some users report that the softgels stick together

BUY: Nature Made B12 Softgel

Best Gummy B12 Vitamin - Mary Ruth’s D3 + B12 Gummies

Mary Ruth’s D3 + B12 Gummies

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Source/type: Methylated B12 gummy
  • Serving size: 1 gummy daily
  • Count: 60

Check Price

Who doesn't love a good gummy bear, especially for refueling after a tough training session? Imagine if there was a gummy bear that had 250 micrograms of B12 and 25 micrograms of vitamin D. You would love it even more, right? Well, there’s no need to imagine because it exists. Mary Ruth’s D3 + B12 Gummies delivers that very dose, in strawberry or sugar-free raspberry flavors, earning top honors as the best gummy B12 vitamin around.

While we've already talked about the importance of getting adequate B12, vitamin D is another important nutrient, especially for athletes. Vitamin D’s main functions are to aid calcium absorption in the gut and promote bone growth and remodeling. For athletes, correcting low vitamin D levels can mean increases in muscle protein synthesis, strength, power, exercise capacity, and physical performance. With this supplement, you get a two-for-one shot of B12 and D packaged in a tasty gummy. In addition, this product is vegan-friendly and made with organic ingredients. Mary Ruth’s D3 + B12 Gummies is a great choice for busy athletes on the go looking to optimize their B12 and vitamin D without having to swallow a pill.

PROS

  • Comes in two appealing flavors
  • Combines vitamins D and B12 in one gummy
  • Uses methylated form of B12 for optimal absorption

CONS

  • Dose of vitamin B12 may be too low for some
  • Strawberry version contains added sugars

BUY: Mary Ruth’s D3 + B12 Gummies

Best Chewable B12 Vitamin - Jarrow's Methyl B12 Lemon

Jarrow Methyl B12 Lemon

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Source/type: Chewable methylated B12
  • Dosage: 1 daily
  • Count: 200, 100

Check Price

For athletes, who already have to drink a ton of fluids to stay hydrated, drinking more to take a B12 supplement may be a pain point. Chewable supplements offer an efficient and convenient way to take vitamins and minerals without fluids. In seeking the best chewable B12 vitamin of 2022, we zeroed in on Jarrow Methyl 1000 mcg B12.

This product provides a biologically active 1,000-microgram dose of methylated B12 per chewable tablet, ensuring the best absorption. If you need a different dose, it also comes in 500-microgram, 2,500-microgram, and 5,000-microgram versions. In addition, the 1,000-microgram version is available in 100-tablet and 200-tablet quantities. For active people wanting to take a B12 supplement without having to guzzle additional fluids with a pill, Jarrow’s selection of chewable B12 tablets is the top choice.

PROS

  • Good option for people on the go
  • Naturally flavored
  • Methylated form for better absorption
  • Comes in different doses and package sizes

CONS

  • Contains sugar alcohol, which may not agree with some people
  • Ingredients are produced abroad

BUY: Jarrow Methyl B12 Lemon

Best Tablet B12 Vitamin - Nature’s Bounty B12

Nature’s Bounty B12

SPECS

  • Price (Scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): N/A
  • Type: Coated cyanocobalamin B12 tablet
  • Dosage: 1 daily
  • Count: 200, 100

Check Price

One of the most common forms of B12 comes as a tablet. That’s mostly because tablets are easy to process. In terms of cost effectiveness, tablets provide a good balance between price and rate of absorption. We selected Nature’s Bounty B12 coated tablets as our best tablet B12 vitamin. Nature’s Bounty is a supplement brand that has been around for years and is trusted by wellness experts everywhere.

Nature’s Bounty B12 sources the cyanocobalamin form of B12, a synthetic that is slightly cheaper to buy. While it’s true that cyanocobalamin requires a bit of extra processing before it can be used in the body, the research suggests that it is still an excellent option for supplementing with B12. With a 1,000 microgram dose, Nature’s Bounty B12 is perfect for daily use to help maintain your B12 levels. In addition, the tablets are coated to make it a bit easier to swallow them. If you're shopping for a simple vitamin B12 supplement that has no fancy additives, give Nature’s Bounty B12 tablets a try.

PROS

  • Good value for the price
  • Brand has a long-established track record
  • Appropriate dose for daily use

CONS

  • Uses cyanocobalamin form, which may be slightly less-well absorbed
  • Some users report the tablets are difficult to swallow

BUY: Nature’s Bounty B12

Best Liquid B12 Vitamin - Mary Ruth’s Methyl B12 Liquid Spray

Mary Ruth’s Methyl B12 Spray

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options: 1
  • Source/type: Liquid methylated B12 spray
  • Dosage: 4 sprays
  • Count: 30 doses per bottle

Check Price

Taking supplements can be a hard pill to swallow, pun intended. Some people just don’t enjoy taking pills. Thankfully, when it comes to supplementing with B12, there are a number of other methods of administration, including liquid sprays and drops. We selected Mary Ruth's Methyl B12 Liquid Spray as our best liquid B12 vitamin mainly for its high-quality ingredients and ease of use.

The product provides a precise 720-microgram dose of methylated B12, making it suitable for daily use with a high rate of absorption. You just spray it into your mouth four times, and you're good to go. This convenient form of B12 is great for active individuals who can’t be bothered with taking pills. Just throw it in your gym bag alongside your favorite running shoes and supplementing with B12 is an easy task.

PROS

  • Provides 720 mcg of methylated B12, good for daily use
  • Contains all natural and organic ingredients
  • Users claim it works well to raise B12 levels

CONS

  • Comes in only one flavor
  • Bottle contains only a 1-month supply
  • Expensive at $0.83 per serving

BUY: Mary Ruth’s Methyl B12 Spray

Best Affordable B12 Vitamin - Solgar Sublingual Vitamin B12

Solgar Sublingual Vitamin B12

SPECS

  • Price (Scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Source/type: Dissolvable sublingual nugget
  • Serving size: 1 nugget daily
  • Count: 250, 100

Check Price

The cost of dietary supplements can certainly add up. Even so, some are a worthwhile investment for optimizing your health. Just as investing in new accessories for your bike may improve its performance, investing in your health by taking a supplement may improve yours. B12 is an essential vitamin that you should surely supplement if your levels are low, especially if you’re an athlete. Thankfully, there are budget-friendly options that can provide you with your daily dose of B12 for less than $0.10 per serving. At the top of our list for the best affordable B12 vitamin of 2022 is Solgar Sublingual Vitamin B12 Nuggets.

At around $20 for 250 servings, this product provides a solid 1,000-microgram dose of cyanocobalamin B12 without putting a hole in your wallet. It’s perfect for daily use by active individuals looking to ensure optimal exercise performance by maintaining their B12 levels. It’s a quality product, produced in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility and sourced from high-quality suppliers. As an added bonus, Solgar Sublingual Vitamin B12 Nuggets are vegan-friendly. If you’re concerned about absorption with the cyanocobalamin form, this product also comes in a methylated B12 version.

PROS

  • Good value at less than $0.10 per serving
  • 1,000-mcg dose is suitable for daily use
  • Available in 2 container sizes

CONS

  • Comes in only one flavor
  • Contains sugar alcohols, which may not agree with some people

BUY: Solgar Sublingual Vitamin B12

Best High-Dose B12 Vitamin - Bulk Supplements Vitamin B12 Softgels

Bulk Supplements Vitamin B12 Softgels

SPECS

  • Price (scale of $-$$$): $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Source/type: Cyanocobalamin B12 softgel
  • Serving size: 1 softgel daily or as directed by a physician
  • Count: 300, 100

Check Price

While most B12 supplements provide anywhere from 250-1,000 micrograms per dose, higher supplementation is warranted sometimes. Specifically, if you’ve had your blood B12 tested and it comes back low, your healthcare provider may suggest taking a higher dose supplement to get your B12 back to normal. Individuals at high risk of low B12, such as longtime vegans, older people, and pregnant or lactating women, may consider taking higher doses. We named Bulk Supplements Vitamin B12 Softgels the best high-dose B12 Vitamin supplements due to their affordable price point and third-party-tested ingredients.

Bulk Supplements’ highest dose B12 supplement provides a whopping 5,000 micrograms of synthetic cyanocobalamin B12, which is sufficient for everyday use. If your levels are critically low, your doctor may give you a B12 injection to help rapidly restore them to a normal range. Although B12 comes with a fairly low risk of overdose, it’s always important to check with your healthcare provider before taking high doses of any supplement to avoid potential side effects. Still, if you are looking for a high-dose B12 supplement at an affordable price, Bulk Supplements 5000 mcg Vitamin B12 Softgels is an excellent option for you.

PROS

  • Softgels are easy to swallow
  • Good value
  • Supplement is third-party tested to ensure quality and safety

CONS

  • Uses synthetic B12, which may not be as well absorbed as the methylated form
  • Packaging may be cumbersome for some people

BUY: Bulk Supplements Vitamin B12 Softgels

Benefits of B12

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in nervous system development, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis. It’s especially important for athletes due to its function in energy metabolism, and it even affects how we absorb nutrients from food. Considering B12’s vital role in the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body, it’s a particularly key nutrient for endurance athletes.

Why We Need B12

Without vitamin B12, our brain and nerve cells would not be able to function or continue to develop properly. Our red blood cells would become enlarged and unable to carry oxygen efficiently through our bodies. Plus, we wouldn’t be able to properly metabolize nutrients from food, leading to fatigue and potential deficiencies.

How to Pick Your B12 Vitamin

The first factor to consider when choosing a vitamin B12 supplement is which form you would prefer, a capsule, tablet, liquid, lozenge, etc.? Think about which you would be most likely to take on a consistent basis. From there, find a brand that provides the proper dosage to meet your needs based on recommendations from your healthcare provider. Finally, consider your budget. How much would you ideally like to spend per dose or container? Taking these factors into consideration will enable you to choose the best B12 supplement for your individual needs.

FAQs About Vitamin B12


Which form of vitamin B12 is best?

The most common forms of B12 found in supplements are methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin. The former is a more naturally occurring substance that is more quickly absorbed, whereas the latter is a synthetic version that requires a bit of extra processing in the body to be utilized. Experts will often recommend the methylated form if you are looking to maximize absorption, although the synthetic version can also maintain your B12 levels in most cases.

Is it okay to take B12 every day?

B12 has a low risk of toxicity and is safe for most people to take every day. If you are unsure of your B12 levels, it may be worth it to have them checked first before supplementing. It’s always better to start with a lower-dose B12 supplement rather than jumping right to the highest dose possible. As always, you’ll want to check with your healthcare provider before you start taking such a supplement.

What foods have B12?

The most common food sources of B12 are tuna, salmon, clams, beef, milk, yogurt, eggs, and fortified cereals. When it comes to plant-based options, most vegans and strict vegetarians get their B12 from nutritional yeast and plant-based foods that are fortified.

What Are Vitamins | Nutrient-Dense Foods | Fat-Soluble Vs. Water-Soluble Vitamins | Best Vitamin D Supplements | Best Magnesium Supplements | Best Iron Supplements | Best Vitamins for Energy | Best Beet Supplements | Best Vitamin B12 Supplements | Best Calcium Supplements

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Discuss This Article