Science

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been getting more notice lately, and for good reason. It has been reported that 51 to 70 percent of individuals are low on vitamin D. This isn’t good, considering how important vitamin D is to not only the general population but also athletes and bodybuilders. You might be wondering why it’s so important. Well, here are a few reasons why:

  1. Low vitamin D levels lead to irregular contractions of the muscles and inability to relax, resulting in your muscles being unable to produce as much force as they should. This means you won’t be strong as you should be.
  2. Ideal vitamin D levels have been shown to improve muscular power and jump height. Researchers found that the ability of a muscle to contract and produce power is influenced by vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels will make you less powerful, with power defined here as the ability to move a weight quickly.
  3. Low vitamin D levels can also affect body compensation. Researchers found that a low vitamin D concentration increases the fat in muscle. With a proper amount of vitamin D in your body, it can maintain its muscle and lean body mass. And no bodybuilder wants any additional fat.
  4. Plenty of research shows that low levels of vitamin D are linked to osteoporosis and bone fractures. Also, calcium and vitamin D supplementation are key components in having proper bone health.
  5. This one is simple: Vitamin D has been shown to fight many different types of cancers, including lung, colon, prostate and breast cancer.

It’s obvious, then, that vitamin D is essential for not only bodybuilders but also the general population. It wards off cancer and helps with increasing bone density, which wards off osteoporosis. And, lacking vitamin D inhibits muscles from performing the way they should, making them weaker and less powerful.

So how much vitamin D should you be taking? The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is around 5,000 IU, though research suggests that large dosages are more effective, such as taking 35,000 to 50,000 IU twice a week. Whatever approach you take, make sure you’re getting enough for optimal health!

SOURCE

  1. Boland R. The role of vitamin D in skeletal muscle function. Endocr Rev. 1986 Nov;7(4):434-48.
  2. Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-281.
  3. Gilsanz V, Kremer A, Mo AO, Wren TA, Kremer R. Vitamin D status and its relation to muscle mass and muscle fat in young women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Apr;95(4):1595-601.

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