For those of you who wear a whoop band or an Oura ring you can see how the way you feel is often reflected in your HRV score. HRV stands for heart rate variability and is a measurement of the variation between consecutive heartbeats. It is an accurate indicator of how well your body is recovering from stress or exercise and can also indicate if your sympathetic nervous system (stress) is in control. The more stressed and less recovered you are, the lower your HRV score and the more rested and recovered you are the higher the HRV score.
Although sleep, hydration, diet and adequate recovery post exercise are all important there are specific nutrients which have a significant impact on your HRV score. You could be doing everything right - i.e., getting enough sleep, hydrating and interchanging your A and B workouts - and still find your HRV score is not budging. This is where nutrition comes into play. If you are deficient in these necessary nutrients your HRV score will still remain quite low, due to their role in regulating your nervous system so you can properly recover and exit out of a consistent stress response.
One such nutrient that has a significant impact on your HRV score is vitamin B12. This vitamin is only sourced from animal products and you need an adequate release of stomach acid for its absorption. It has many roles in the body including energy metabolism, red blood cell production, nerve function and DNA synthesis. We cannot function without it.
Multiple studies have seen a significant relationship between HRV and vitamin B12. The greater the vitamin B12 deficiency, the lower the HRV score, which improved once the individuals were properly supplemented. This indicates a strong correlation between vitamin B12 and your autonomic nervous system, ensuring it is properly functioning so you are not constantly living out of a stress response, you can actually lean into the rest and digest.
What are some clever ways to increase your vitamin B12 levels?
- Increase intake of vitamin B12 rich foods: egg yolks, clams, red meat, fish.
- Ensure adequate stomach acid production: have a shot of apple cider vinegar with meals.
- Take SWW® Restore on a daily basis: this contains a high dose of bioavailable vitamin B12. Just be sure to take it separate from a meal.