Get a Vitamin D Workout Boost
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with impaired muscle action, including muscle weakness and decreased muscle strength. There is an increasing amount of evidence that demonstrates the health benefits of adequate vitamin D levels. And evidence points to a positive effect of vitamin D supplements on physical performance.
International health organizations recommend 400 to 6000 IU/day vitamin D supplementation. Recommendations depend on age and health status.
A study published by researchers at the University of Gdansk, titled “The Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Physical Capacity among Active College-Aged Males,” was published in Nutrients. It concludes with good news. Vitamin D3 supplements with a dose of 6000 IU daily for eight weeks is sufficient to improve physical capacity and vitamin D3 levels.
A total of 28 healthy, male subjects participated in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups (supplement and placebo). Initial physical capacity level, as well as vitamin D concentration, did not differ between supplement and placebo groups.
Subjects from the supplement group were given 6000 IU of vitamin D3 daily in capsule form (2000 IU per capsule). The placebo group received identical-looking capsules containing sunflower oil.
All participants (medical university students) took three capsules per day in the morning for eight weeks. And they took part in 3 hours per week of supervised physical activity. The participants were instructed to maintain their nutritional habits throughout the whole experiment.
The researchers measured the relevant data before, during, and after the experiment. They demonstrated that supplements improve vitamin D levels. And they have a positive impact on both aerobic (VO2 max) and anaerobic performance. In practical terms, anaerobic exercise is more intense, but shorter in duration than aerobic exercise.
Vitamin D supplements are good for both. On the other hand, the data imply that low vitamin D levels negatively influence both. And this is the case even in young people with fair aerobic physical fitness.
Though all participants in this specific study were young men, it seems plausible to me that the results generalize to everyone.
Keep in mind that this study applies to vitamin D3 supplements. Research shows that they are more effective than vitamin D2 supplements.
Vitamin D3 is a form of vitamin D which is made by the skin when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D3 is also found in some foods, such as oily fish and egg yolks. And it can be taken as a dietary supplement.
Low vitamin D3 levels result from sunlight limitations. This may be due to geographical location. Or it may result from a lifestyle that includes spending most of the time indoors (both during work and in free time).
Residents of Gdansk don’t get too much sunlight. I don’t live far from Gdansk. And there isn’t too much sunlight here either.
But I’m writing this at 8am. And today is a sunny day. So I’ll go outdoors, enjoy the sunlight, and build up my vitamin D intake.
Please do the same when you can. Talk to your doctor, and establish a workout routine. Last but not least, consider pre-workout vitamin D supplements like Thrivous Tenacity!
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