Stronger, healthier, happier in just 20 mins.
If you want to live longer, get stronger, be happier and feel better then Vitamin-D could be the answer. This one simple Vitamin has been shown time and time again to have numerous health benefits and the best thing about it…..its free!
What is it ?
Vitamin-D is a fat soluble ‘vitamin’ that is found in some foods and supplements.
The easiest way to get Vitamin-D though is from good old sunlight!
What might we be deficient?
It is now estimated that over 1/3 third of Australian adults of deficient in Vitamin-D and this number is only growing. Spending time is the sun has become a lot less common in recent years. From the media screaming the risks of sun exposure, to our lives becoming more and more indoor based and sedentary, Vitamin-D deficiency is a issue more than ever. There are over 30 major benefits of optimal Vitamin-D levels which include lowering the risks of chronic disease and neurological disorders, boosting brain health, improving immune function and even helping you perform better in the gym.
Top 3 Benefits
Healthier: Increased bone health
Low levels of Vitamin-D have been linked osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. This risk becomes increasing prevalent in our ageing population. Resistance training, adequate calcium and a healthy dose of Vitamin-D will keep your bones stronger, for longer.
Note: did you know that one of the best sources of calcium is broccoli? It has a similar amount of calcium per gram to milk and is more easily absorbed!
Happier: Decreased depression and brain disorders
Exactly how Vitamin-D works in the brain is not yet fully understood. However research shows that low levels of Vitamin-D are linked with depression and supplementing with additional Vitamin-D can reduce the symptoms of depression.
Note: Always consult a medical expert when making any changes to how you manage depression – but definitely ask if Vitamin-D and training could enhance that process.
Stronger: Increased muscle strength
We couldn’t write an article and not include something about building bigger and stronger muscles! Vitamin-D plays a important role muscle contraction, muscle relaxation and force production. Low levels of Vitamin-D have also been linked to degradation of protein within the muscle. So if increasing your bench press or the size of your biceps is the goal then Vitamin-D is a must!
Brain function: Increased brain power and performance
Vitamin-D has been shown to aid in nerve growth and is also a essential enzyme responsible for optional production of neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters not only impact our mood but also our cognitive function and drive. Research also suggests that this becomes increasingly important for individuals over the age of 75.
Boosted Reproductive Health
Adequate levels of Vitamin-D have been shown to aid on both female and male reproductive health. Increased sperm count and sperm motility are the main benefits for men while increased rates of foetal implantation in the uterus are the main benefits for women.
How to get it
The most effective way to get your hit your vitamin D target is just through sun exposure. When UV rays hit the skin conversions happen in the skin, kidneys and liver causing synthesis of the active form of Vitamin-D in the body.
20 mins a day of direct sunlight is all that is needed to satisfy the minimum for our needs – though that assumes that the face, hands, and arms are exposed and not covered with suncream. We must be careful not to burn – but suncream will prevent the creation of Vitamin-D.
Because even in countries such as Australia, there is a growing amount of Vitamin-D deficiency, it is important to get adequate intake from foods too.
What are the best foods: Vitamin-D is abundant in foods such as fatty fish (canned sardines are super high) as well a green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, cress etc) and white beans, almonds and dairy (such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese).
We always recommend trying to achieve optimal Vitamin-D levels through diet and lifestyle first however this may not always be possible. Vitamin-D supplements are very common and readily available, though not all forms are equal.
There are 2 forms of this vitamin, D2 and Vitamin-D3. Commercially made products contain either form and the term ‘Vitamin-D ‘ refers to both. We use products that specifically label the type they use as, like many nutrients, some forms are considered better or more bio-available than others.
If you chose to supplement, a practitioner grade Vitamin-D3 is the one to chose.
Like almost all nutrients found in the body, correct dosage is key but (confusingly) most countries have different recommendations. Unlike many vitamins such as C, and all the B’s, Vitamin-D is fat soluble, can be stored in the body, and too much can be toxic. So, if you are considering Vitamin-D supplementation we recommend to following steps should be taken:
- Visit your doctor and ask for a Vitamin-D test;
- Seek their advice on appropriate supplementation quantities;
- Add high Vitamin-D content foods to your daily intake;
- Try to get out, unprotected, in the sun each day for 10-20 mins; never burn or damage the skin;
- Supplement as prescribed;
- Re-test Vitamin-D levels every 12 weeks and adjust dosage according to professional advice.
Alternatively, if you just want a health and performance boost with no complexity, remember to get out and enjoy a little sunshine every day.
Relevant, safe, and proven advice on supplementation is available from our coaches at Ninth Wave. If you would like to know more or see how training or supplementation could enhance your health and fitness, use the contact us form and we can organise a chat with one of our senior coaches.