Health & Wellness Increase Energy Vitamin B2 [Riboflavin]

Deficiency of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) impairs performance

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Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 is an easily absorbed, water-soluble micronutrient with a key role in maintaining health in humans and animals. Good sources of  vitamin B2 (riboflavin) are milk, cheese, egg, leaf vegetables, liver, kidneys, salmon and almonds.[1] It is important for body growth and red blood cell production and helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates [2].

Riboflavin and its role in exercise

It has been suggested that the need for many of the B vitamins increases during exercise because of their role as coenzymes in the oxidative processes of cells.[3] Riboflavin is necessary for the synthesis of two important coenzymes: flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide. These coenzymes play an important role in the metabolism of glucose, fatty acids, glycerol, and amino acids for energy.[4] Therefore, the needs for riboflavin have been linked to energy intake and expenditure.[5]

One of the more frequently asked questions among physically active especially bodybuilders is: “Does vitamin supplementation improve exercise performance?” Marketing companies would like you to think so but lets see what science has to say about it. Blenko and colleagues [6] evaluated the effects of riboflavin supplementation on exercise in overweight women. The study concluded that supplementing with riboflavin did not improve training ability. On the other hand, van der Beek et al. [7] examined how thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6 restricted diet impacts performance of 24 healthy men over an 11-week trial. What they found was that vitamin depletion significantly decreased maximal work capacity. A study in young women who exercised for 6 weeks showed that women require more riboflavin to achieve biochemical normality than recommended daily allowance.[8]

Riboflavin side effects and safety

Riboflavin is probably safe for most people. In many cases riboflavin can cause the urine to turn a bright, fluorescent yellow color [2].



  1. Higdon, Jane; Victoria J. Drake (2007). “Riboflavin”. Micronutrient Information Center. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Retrieved December 3, 2009.
  2. Alison Evert. MedlinePlus Retrieved from at 27. May 2013
  3. Belko, A. Z., et al. “Effects of aerobic exercise and weight loss on riboflavin requirements of moderately obese, marginally deficient young women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 40.3 (1984): 553-561.
  4. Manore, Melinda M. “Effect of physical activity on thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6 requirements.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 72.2 (2000): 598s-606s.
  5. Bro-Rasmussen, Finn. “The riboflavin requirement of animals and man and associated metabolic relations. II. Relation of requirement to the metabolism of protein and energy.” Nutrition abstracts and reviews. Series A: Human and experimental. Vol. 28. No. 2. 1958.
  6. Belko, Amy Z., et al. “Effects of exercise on riboflavin requirements: biological validation in weight reducing women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 41.2 (1985): 270-277.
  7. Van der Beek, E. J., et al. “Thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6: impact of restricted intake on physical performance in man.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 13.6 (1994): 629-640.
  8. Belko, Amy Z., et al. “Effects of exercise on riboflavin requirements of young women.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 37.4 (1983): 509-517.