If you aren’t training outside, you’re missing out… and if you are like me, you hate missing out!!
Taking your training sessions outside gives you that hit of fresh air and fabulous vitamin D that’s especially important if you exercise frequently.
Here are the facts about Vitamin D levels when we talk about muscle growth, the immune system, how much to take and where you can get it.
It might seem strange that a vitamin can impact your muscles, but vitamin D 100% can!
Numerous studies are now showing how vitamin D can play a significant role for anyone involved in sport.
This first one shows the importance of Vitamin D and the strength of your legs, which is necessary when considering your legs the primary drivers in your rowing stroke! (Effect of vitamin D supplementation on upper and lower limb muscle strength and muscle power in athletes: A meta-analysis)
The second one dives deeper into the role of vitamin D and its positive role in injury prevention and sports performance. Yes, I know my competitive days are behind me, but I’m not giving up on beating Shane one day! (Effects of Vitamin D on Skeletal Muscle and Athletic Performance)
Last but not least, vitamin D improves upper and lower limb strength in all populations between 18-40 (it’s not that it doesn’t help you if you are outside those ages, just that the research was conducted on those age ranges).
Plenty of evidence supports getting that vitamin D if your goal is to increase strength and allow the body to repair, rebuild and grow.
After two years of virus exposure worldwide, much current research supports vitamin D and its role in strengthening our immune system.
The immune system is our body’s defense against infections; it consists of various organs, cells, and processes. When the body senses foreign substances (called antigens), the immune system works to recognize the antigens and stimulate an immune response.
Vitamin D supports the function of our immune system by creating immune cells with a higher tolerance.
This research (Vitamin D’s Effect on Immune Function | National Library of Medicine) predates the pandemic, but it does show the links to improving immune health and decreasing susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.
One thing is known, if you want your immune system to fight the good fight and to ensure it helps you in your quest to build a better life for yourself, vitamin D will support this.
Firstly, you don’t have to supplement with vitamin D.
Sunlight or the following foods are your answer here:
The FDA recommends that everyone take a daily vitamin D supplement between October and early March due to less sunlight in the winter months as an insurance policy if you’re not regularly eating the foods above. This is a great additional measure to ensure you get the required amount of vitamin D. Remember, these are there as a supplement, not an alternative to real food.
If you’re training regularly, your body may need more vitamin D to help, so taking that erg outside is definitely going to be a way of getting this in abundance.
If you want to take this on to the next level, here’s a beautiful 60-minute lo-fi rowalong you can plug and play whilst you get in the sun’s rays.
There is nothing wrong with this in the slightest.
As mentioned above, the FDA recommends you take this in the fall & winter months as insurance for your body, so here’s what to look for when adding supplements to your diet.
Vitamin D comes in two primary forms – vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.
Both are beneficial; however, D3 is vitamin D’s most active biological form, with studies showing D3 may be more critical to our health and should therefore be the supplement you utilize if you choose this path in 1000IU (25mg) doses.
There you have it! If you ever needed an excuse to take the erg outside and enjoy the benefits of rowing AND vitamin D, here it is!