Vitamin B and Alcohol

B-vitamins have several variations that are all important for our bodies to function in a healthy way. These vitamins can provide our body with some necessary nutrients and minerals to improve strength, cognition, mood, stamina and general immunity, among others.

B-vitamins and drinking alcohol, however, do not always work well together, particularly if you drink too much alcohol at once or on a frequent basis.

Let’s take a look at how drinking alcohol can affect the B-vitamins in our bodies, along with the detailed causes and impacts of this.

How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect B-Vitamins?

Drinking alcohol affects B-vitamins in a negative way as it reduces their effectiveness in our bodies. It can not only lead to common and temporary issues such as fatigue, weakness and a reduced appetite but can also lead to chronic issues of deficiency as well as depression.

In essence, alcohol can remove the B-vitamins from our bodies.


There are several causes that we can highlight here that can help explain why drinking alcohol has this kind of impact on the B-vitamins in particular.

Water Solubility

In general, B-vitamins are known to have a high level of water solubility. This means that our bodies have to work quickly to absorb the nutrients from these vitamins before they flush out of our system with other fluids.

Drinking alcohol increases this water solubility even more, causing our bodies to get rid of the vitamins at a quicker rate. This is why it is important to eat foods rich in these vitamins after drinking more than usual.

Absorption Levels

Since alcohol can quicken the process of washing the B-vitamins out of our bodies, it also has an impact on the absorption level of these vitamins. This is because our bodies do not have enough time to take absorb the nutrients from them.

This can lead to several issues in the short as well as long term. On an immediate basis, it can cause fatigue, restless sleep, stress and more. If you drink alcohol frequently, then this could affect your cognition and immunity as well.

Cell Function

Thiamine is an important vitamin that forms a part of these B-vitamins alongside several other nutrients.

When large amounts of alcohol enter our system, however, our cells and tissues might not be able to effectively use these vitamins to perform and carry out important functions that can keep our cells healthy and active.

This kind of deficiency is prominent when it comes to people with alcohol addiction.

Toxic Compounds

Drinking large amounts of alcohol can also release some toxic compounds in the body, such as acetaldehyde.

These compounds can interfere with the regular functioning of our bodies even more, making it difficult for the B-vitamins to release their nutrients.

These compounds can also accumulate and react with other elements in our bodies, leading to feelings of nausea and fatigue a few hours later or the next morning.

These impacts can be reduced with a meal rich in B-vitamins.


There are several short-term and long-term impacts that alcohol can have on reduced levels of B-vitamins in our bodies.


A vitamin B deficiency can occur in our bodies due to alcohol. This is, however, not a major concern if you consume alcohol only on an occasional basis or in moderate amounts.

In case you suffer from addiction, however, it is likely that you will develop a deficiency. This deficiency can lower your overall immunity while also increasing the risk of developing several diseases.

It can also lead to incoordination and mental health issues.


Fatigue can be an issue that you experience in the short as well as the long term. If you have too much to drink on a certain occasion, then you might feel tired, stressed and nauseous the next day or within a few hours of drinking alcohol.

This will, however, reduce once the alcohol passes out of your system.

If you tend to drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, however, this fatigue might become a chronic part of your life. This can then limit you from performing several kinds of tasks.


Depression is another problem that you might suffer from, particularly if you suffer from addiction. There are several B-vitamins, such as B1, B2, B3 and B12 that can help maintain the hormones and chemicals in our bodies to a certain extent.

Alcohol, however, can reduce the presence and retention of these vitamins in our bodies that can then reduce their ability to control and regulate our mental health.

If there are other external factors that contribute to this, then the level of depression and anxiety can increase even more.

Cognitive Functions

Drinking too much alcohol can impair our cognitive functions to a considerable extent because of low B-vitamin levels. Even in the short term, you can experience memory loss, slurred speech, lethargy and muscle incoordination a few hours after drinking.

If you or someone you know suffers from alcohol addiction, then these cognitive functions can decline even more, causing you to depend on others for regular tasks and mobility.

This can also lead to long-term behavioral issues along with amnesia or dementia.

Cardiovascular Health

B-vitamins are also important when it comes to maintaining our cardiovascular health to some extent and ensuring a regular flow of blood through the vessels.

Without these vitamins, however, a deficiency can cause heart failure while also leading to unhealthy amounts of water and salt inside the blood.

This can prove to be fatal if not dealt with properly.

Final Remarks

It is now clear that the interaction of B-vitamins and alcohol is not a good sign for our bodies. We have not only taken you through the causes behind this but also the detailed consequences that this can have on our bodies.

It is important to emphasize that moderate amounts of alcohol consumed occasionally may not have serious impacts, but large amounts and frequent consumption can certainly lead to the aforementioned problems.

Eating healthy food or taking vitamin B pills can reduce the impact if the drinking is only occasional.