For those of us looking to build muscle, keeping our vitamin levels topped up is essential for growth, development and healing. However, although many know about the benefits of vitamins such as A, B12 and C when it comes to our immune systems and overall health, vitamin D is often overlooking.
Vitamin D is what helps our bones get calcium and keeps our immune system working. In short, it’s crucial for recovery after working out. Our bones, muscles and joints are put under constant strain by continuously weight lifting and therefore, we need our immune system as strong as possible. Without vitamin D, we can’t do this, which is disturbing considering almost half of us suffer from a deficiency.
Getting vitamin D
The reason getting enough vitamin D is so hard in our modern age is because the process is triggered by the sun. The majority of us live, work, eat and exercise inside, meaning we have a distinct lack of sun in our lives and this prevents our bones and immune system from absorbing what they need. This can result in a range of health issues from osteoporosis, to multiple sclerosis and even cancer.
Unfortunately, vitamin D is only found in certain foods. Oily fish, which, as a weight trainer, you probably already consume, and fortified cereals tends to contain it in relatively small quantities. However, the best way to obtain it is by getting out in the sun. Why not try walking to the gym in your lunch break when the sun’s at its highest? It’s recommended we get at least 10 minutes of high sun a day, 20 – 30 if we’ve got dark skin, so a short walk to the gym should be adequate. If this isn’t possible, try to at least get outside on your lunch break rather than sitting at your computer and do at least one outdoor activity at the weekend.
What if I already have a vitamin D deficiency?
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are hard to spot. However, if you’re feeling tired, lethargic, or getting aches and pains in your muscles and bones, you should see a doctor anyway. Working out should give you energy, not make you feel weak, so getting blood work done is a must if you feel this way. If you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency, a simple course of supplementation either in the form of tablets or injections should restore balance. However, in future, be sure to take cod liver oil tablets and get out in the sun every day to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Check out this article to find out more information on the causes and symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency.