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Product Review: B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks (Including B Complexes, Niacin, B-6, B-12, Biotin, Thiamin, and Folic Acid)
 

Posted: 9/23/12  Updated: 12/14/13 
B Vitamins and Energy Drinks Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com Tests Show Many B-Complex Supplements and "Energy" Drinks Contain Wrong Amounts of Vitamins 

Find Out Now If Yours Passed!

B vitamin supplements and energy drinks in this review (including B-complexes,  thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, biotin, folate, and pantothenic acid supplements): 

5-Hour Energy Natural Factors B12 Methylcobalamin Simply Right (Sam's Club) Super B Complex with C
Andrew Lessman's High Potency B-Complex Nature Made B-12 Vitamin Slo-Niacin
Bluebonnet Biotin Nature's Bounty Sublingual B-12 Solaray Two-Stage, Timed-Release Vitamin B-6
Country Life Biotin Nature's Life Biotin Hair, Skin & Nails Solgar Sublingual Vitamin B12
CVS/pharmacy Timed Release B-12 Nature's Plus High Potency Folic Acid Spring Valley (Walmart) Sublingual Dots B-12
GNC B-Complex 50 Nature's Way Niacin Swanson Super Stress B-Complex with Vitamin C
Isotonix Activated B Complex NOW B-12 Target Up & Up Vitamin B12
Jamieson Natural Sources B12 Nutrilite Natural B Complex True Athlete ZMA with Theanine
Jarrow Formulas Flush Free Niacinamide PhysioLogics Flush Free Niacin Twinlab Stress B-Complex Caps
Kirkland (Costco) Signature Hi-Energy Complex B-100 Puritan's Pride Premium B-12 Vitafusion B Complex Energy Gummy Vitamins for Adults
Klaire Labs Vitamin B6 Red Bull Energy Drink Vitamin Shoppe Vitamins B-Complex 100
Life Extension Pantothenic Acid Vitamin B-5 Rexall Sublingual High Potency B-12 Vitamin World B-12
Monster Energy M-3 Super Concentrate Rite Aid Folic Acid Whole Foods Folic Acid
Make sure the B-complex, B vitamin, or "energy" supplement you take passed our test and is right for you!
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Our tests and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements, including B-complexes and energy drinks/shots, revealed problems with the quality of 7 out of 23 products selected for review. These products came up short on listed vitamins, containing only 31% to 87% of the claimed amounts, and/or contained far more ingredient than claimed, ranging from 182% to 230% of what was expected. Among B vitamin supplements, the most problematic were B complexes.
 
Testing also revealed the actual amounts of caffeine in the popular energy drinks/shots 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy M-3, and Red Bull. Just a single small bottle of either of two of these products contained more than twice the caffeine you would expect from a regular cup of coffee. Following the serving suggestions of one product could lead you to ingest an extremely high amount of caffeine -- over 600 mg per day.
 
In this comprehensive report, you'll get quality ratings and reviews of 37 B vitamin supplements and fortified energy drinks: 23 products selected by ConsumerLab.com and 14 others that passed voluntary certification testing. You'll also get information about two supplements similar to one that passed testing. Tested products include B-complexes, energy shots, and single-B vitamin supplements with thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), or pantothenic acid. 

In this comprehensive report, you'll discover:
    • Which B vitamin supplements and energy drinks Iailed testing and which passed
    • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements and energy drinks 
    • Information on what B vitamin supplements and energy drinks can and cannot do for you -- some may reduce memory decline!
    • Important differences between forms of B vitamins, such as those of niacin: nicotinic acid, niacinamide, inositol hexanicotinate, and delayed-release formulations.  
    • Usage and dosage information for the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), and pantothenic acid.
    • Side effects and potential drug interactions with B vitamins
    • Safety concerns about energy drinks and how to use them more safely, including concern over ingredients such as L-carnitine 
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