Last week we talked about how some energy drinks have B-vitamins, but not all B-vitamins are relevant to the way the body generates energy. If the B-vitamins were the Avengers, then Thiamin would definitely be one of the strongest members. Thiamin is a crucial part of how the body turns glucose into energy.

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Glucose is the most basic unit of a carbohydrate and the preferred fuel for the body. As a glucose molecule is broken down to release energy it must become a molecule/metabolite named pyruvate. Thiamin (as its coenzyme form, thiamin pyrophosphate or TPP) keeps that enzyme humming like a well-oiled machine. So without sufficient thiamin, carbohydrate metabolism screeches to a halt. Thiamin as TPP participates in the metabolism of fat, protein, and nucleic acids, but it’s carbohydrate metabolism that’s first to go haywire with a thiamin deficiency.

Stay tuned as we look at other B-vitamins in our page-by-page tour through my book on the science of energy drinks and their ingredients.

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