5 Benefits of Vitamin D for Strength Athletes

If the solar is shining the place you might be, you may get a free complement simply by heading outdoors. Though the solar is a direct supply of vitamin D, nicknamed the sunshine vitamin, most individuals don’t get sufficient of it — even should you embody Vitamin D-rich meals in your weight-reduction plan.

The advantages of vitamin D vary from enhancing bone density to selling stronger immune methods. For energy athletes, vitamin D has been proven to probably assist build muscle, enhance athletic efficiency, cut back irritation, and stop and heal injuries

Vitamin D food sources
Credit score: Tatjana Baibakova / Shutterstock

Your stroll to the health club to seize some further daylight could not present sufficient vitamin D to spice up your features. Let’s dive into the science of why it could be value including an additional vitamin D supplement to your stack.

Editor’s Notice: The content material on BarBend is supposed to be informative in nature, but it surely shouldn’t be taken as medical recommendation. When beginning a brand new coaching routine and/or weight-reduction plan, it’s at all times a good suggestion to seek the advice of with a trusted medical skilled. We’re not a medical useful resource. The opinions and articles on this web site should not supposed to be used as analysis, prevention, and/or remedy of well being issues. They aren’t substitutes for consulting a certified medical skilled.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, together with vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin Ok. Fats-soluble nutritional vitamins are saved in fats within the physique, whereas water-soluble nutritional vitamins are saved in water. (1) The primary operate of Vitamin D is to stability calcium and phosphorus within the physique. (1) This stability supplies bone well being and different musculoskeletal advantages. 

Other than calcium regulation, vitamin D has a direct impact on muscle protein synthesis, muscle operate, and inflammation — processes very related to energy athletes. (2) These advantages have been discovered after discovering that there’s a vitamin D receptor inside muscle tissue. (3)

Vitamin D can be a hormone, and it’s partially produced by solar publicity in your pores and skin and partially taken in by your diet. (1) Vitamin D is a group of nutritional vitamins, and the degrees in your physique are decided by the quantity of Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 that you simply soak up, metabolize, and synthesize. (4)

Is Vitamin D the Identical as Vitamin D3?

You could have heard of each vitamin D and vitamin D3 within the complement world. Right here’s the distinction: vitamin D3 is a half of vitamin D. It’s additionally been proven to probably be the best complement to extend general vitamin D ranges, main D3 to be a preferred complement. (5)

Vitamin D supplement
Credit score: Niranjan Acharya / Shutterstock

Vitamin D consists of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). (4) Vitamin D2 might be taken in by plant-based foods and dietary supplements. Vitamin D3 might be taken in from animal-based foods and dietary supplements and might be synthesized in your pores and skin after solar publicity. (4

So whenever you discuss the sunshine vitamin, that comes out of your vitamin D3, which contributes to your general vitamin D ranges. 

How A lot Vitamin D Do I Want?

It’s estimated that over one billion folks on the planet — of a number of ethnicities and ages — have a vitamin D deficiency. (6) Though the physique creates vitamin D from ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from the solar, freely out there to everybody, it’s tough to get sufficient of it.

Folks with life that spend a lot of time indoors could not get sufficient solar publicity to synthesize vitamin D. Folks with excessive quantities of melanin of their pores and skin soak up extra UVB rays into their pores and skin than folks with much less melanin, and require much more solar publicity to synthesize the identical quantity of vitamin D. (6)

A vitamin D deficiency could cause many well being issues: weak bones resulting in rickets in youngsters, osteopenia and osteoporosis in older adults, and an elevated danger of sure cancers, autoimmune issues, hypertension, and different illnesses. (7)

Vitamin D deficiencies are widespread in athletes and might result in stress fractures, musculoskeletal pain, muscle weak spot, sickness, and decreased efficiency. (2)(3

Other than an absence of solar publicity, vitamin D deficiencies are so widespread as a result of meals with vitamin D include little or no of it, so it’s tough to get sufficient of the vitamin naturally. (7)

The Really helpful Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D is break up up for various age teams, as proven under. (8)

  • Infants from beginning to 1 yr require 10 micrograms (mcg) or 400 worldwide items (IU) of vitamin D. 
  • Folks from one yr to 70 years previous require 15 mcg or 600 IU of vitamin D.
  • Folks over the age of 70 require 20 mcg or 800 IU of vitamin D.

Athletes could require even larger ranges of vitamin D, and peak athletic performance has been related to as much as 5000 IU of vitamin D per day. (2) It’s extraordinarily tough to achieve this quantity by meals and the solar alone, so dietary supplements could also be useful.

You may have your Vitamin D ranges checked in routine blood work by a physician, and it is best to at all times seek the advice of together with your doctor earlier than taking a brand new complement.

Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is made up of nutritional vitamins D2 and D3. Every kind comes from totally different sources, and it’s tough to get enough quantities of each by pure sources.

Beneath is a listing of sources of Vitamin D2. (9)

  • Mushrooms uncovered to UV gentle
  • Some fortified meals: cereal, milk, yogurt, orange juice
  • Dietary supplements

Most sources of vitamin D come from vitamin D3. Listed here are a couple of examples. (3)(9)

Though you may get some vitamin D from the above sources, the degrees are low. When absorbing vitamin D by your weight-reduction plan, you lose 50 p.c of its nutrient worth. (3) Supplements are the quickest solution to attain your day by day wants.

Potential Advantages of Vitamin D

A lot of the analysis on the hyperlink between vitamin D and energy athletes is on what a deficiency could cause in muscular well being. This is sensible, as vitamin D performs a job within the immune system, muscle protein synthesis, muscle operate and regulation, irritation, and mobile well being. (2

All of those methods impression energy athletes and counsel potential advantages to vitamin D supplementation. So let’s dive in.

Could Improve Muscle Protein Synthesis

Many research point out that vitamin D ranges could have a direct impression on skeletal muscle by regulating protein synthesis. (10) Muscle protein synthesis is the metabolic process the place amino acids bind collectively to form skeletal muscle after resistance coaching and enough nutrient consumption. (11)

The amino acid most identified for influencing muscle protein synthesis is leucine, one of many essential amino acids that make up BCAAs — branched-chain amino acids. Vitamin D alone doesn’t trigger muscle protein synthesis, however research present {that a} correct intake of dietary protein, leucine, and vitamin D collectively is an efficient mixture for muscle development. (12)

It’s believed that the vitamin D receptor in skeletal muscle groups is what causes it to have a job in muscle protein synthesis, and the way it helps the musculoskeletal system. (13) Nevertheless, extra analysis continues to be wanted.

Along with serving to construct muscle, vitamin D could decrease muscle protein degeneration. (2)

Could Enhance Athletic Efficiency

A technique that vitamin D could enhance athletic efficiency is by rising ATP focus. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, supplies vitality for brief bursts of highly intense activity. (14) Extra ATP results in a rise in soar top, velocity, and power. It additionally will increase general train capability, which might enhance athletic efficiency. (2)

A person doing a side lunge.
Credit score: Anatoliy Karlyuk / Shutterstock

Vitamin D supplementation has been discovered to have an effect on the scale and variety of type-II, or fast-twitch, muscle fibers. (3) Kind-II muscle fibers additionally produce ATP. Fast-twitch muscles are utilized in energy and anaerobic workout routines. Supplementing with vitamin D could also be significantly useful to weightlifters and CrossFitters, who use energy and anaerobic explosiveness in spades.

Vitamin D has additionally been proven to have a attainable impression on increasing muscle strength. In a examine on the effectiveness of vitamin D2 versus vitamin D3, vitamin D3 was proven to have a larger affect, and energy was considerably improved after supplementation. (15)

Could Scale back Irritation

Vitamin D has been related to decreased irritation, although this notion primarily comes by research on well being points outdoors of sports activities efficiency. (16)

Elevating your ranges of vitamin D could assist cut back muscle irritation attributable to train. (2) While you really feel sore after exercising, you’re typically experiencing DOMS — delayed onset muscle soreness — which might final up to a couple days after your session. DOMS could also be attributable to extra irritation.

By decreasing that irritation with Vitamin D supplementation, you might recover more quickly and be capable of practice safely once more sooner. (2) This will additionally result in long-term features in your training with progressive overload.

Since vitamin D performs a identified position in regulating the immune system, it’s additionally urged that it may also be efficient at decreasing post-exercise muscle harm. (17) Though train is sweet stress on the physique, improving recovery is useful to all fitness goals and general well being.

Could Assist Forestall and Heal Accidents

Maybe partially attributable to its irritation properties, adequate vitamin D ranges could impression the prevention and recovery of musculoskeletal injuries. (2) Since vitamin D is present in skeletal muscle, having enough ranges of it could assist stop muscle harm. (3)

One examine on school athletes examined vitamin D ranges all through their season and low season as nicely. Outcomes urged that decrease vitamin D ranges in the winter could result in a higher risk of illness and harm. (18)

One other examine on tendon-to-bone restoration after rotator cuff surgical procedure urged that vitamin D could have a job in therapeutic after harm. (19) Vitamin D ranges in sufferers have been linked to bone and muscle therapeutic, and this examine urged it could impression tendon-to-bone as nicely. 

The outcomes point out a constructive correlation between vitamin D and muscle and bone therapeutic. Nonetheless, there must be extra analysis on its position in skeletal-tendon healing. (19)

Could Enhance Bone Well being

Vitamin D is well-known for taking part in an necessary position in bone well being. With regards to athletes, improved bone well being helps stop stress fractures, typically attributable to overuse in sports. (3)

 A person running on pavement under the hot sun.
Credit score: lzf / Shutterstock

Vitamin D is chargeable for calcium stability and absorption. Having sufficient vitamin D can result in larger bone mineral density and assist stop osteoporosis. (20) Osteoporosis prevention is necessary for older adults, particularly girls and different folks assigned feminine at beginning who’re extra susceptible to it. 

A evaluate of research on bone well being means that vitamin D may help folks experiencing results from the “feminine athlete triad.” (21) This refers to 3 situations that may trigger low vitality availability in folks assigned feminine at beginning, and sometimes seem collectively: disordered consuming inflicting inadequate diet, menstrual issues, and low bone mineral density. (22

Folks experiencing this athlete triad could profit from rising vitamin D to enhance bone mineral density and assist stop stress fractures.

Vitamin D Myths

Some widespread misinformation surrounds the sunshine vitamin, let’s have a look at some fashionable myths round vitamin D.

Fable: Vitamin D Helps With Fats Loss.

Any time a vitamin or complement turns into a subject in fashionable diet tradition, somebody will possible be there to promote it to you as the newest fast solution to lose body fat

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, but it surely has nothing to do with weight reduction. If losing body fat is your health aim, it’s useful to have enough ranges of vitamin D, particularly if you’re in a calorie deficit, to maintain your bones and muscle groups sturdy. However in itself, it’s not associated to weight reduction.

Fable: You Can Get Sufficient Vitamin D From Meals and the Solar.

Alas — often getting outdoors and consuming meals with hint quantities of vitamin D often doesn’t present sufficient of the really helpful dietary allowance of vitamin D. 

Docs and healthcare suppliers could advocate vitamin D after checking your ranges in a blood check.

Fable: Vitamin D Dietary supplements Assist Forestall Most cancers.

Very similar to the promise of immediate weight reduction, many dietary supplements promise cancer prevention, as nicely. Vitamin D dietary supplements haven’t been discovered to assist stop most cancers — though there are quite a few different well being advantages to having enough vitamin D ranges in your physique.

The U.S. Preventive Providers Process Power (USPSTF) reviewed proof from research and located it inadequate to counsel a hyperlink between vitamin D dietary supplements and most cancers prevention. (23

Potential Drawbacks of Vitamin D

There are various science-backed advantages of taking vitamin D. Over one billion folks on the planet could have a vitamin D deficiency. However you gained’t know for certain until a physician advises you that you’re poor on this vitamin.

A person taking a vitamin supplement.
Credit score: goffkein.professional / Shutterstock

Listed here are some potential drawbacks to taking vitamin D.

Could Trigger Nausea and Different Aspect Results

It’s tough, however attainable to achieve vitamin D toxicity. If in case you have an excessive amount of of it, folks have reported experiencing nausea, vomiting, and different unintended effects. (24)

Could Trigger Drug Interactions

Vitamin D dietary supplements can work together with many several types of drugs. (6) Some drugs could cut back vitamin D’s capacity to soak up calcium, one in every of its major capabilities. All the time examine with a physician, and allow them to know what different drugs you’re taking, earlier than including a vitamin D complement.

Could Trigger Calcium Construct Up

Whereas it’s tough to achieve vitamin D toxicity, should you do attain it, it could actually trigger hypercalcemia, or calcium buildup. This will result in kidney and coronary heart harm. (24

This medical examine notes that the elevated consciousness of vitamin D advantages has led folks to self-administer vitamin D dietary supplements, which makes reaching toxicity attainable. (24) All the time seek the advice of with a physician to your private must keep away from this. 

Robust Bones, Robust Athletes

If you wish to be sure you’re getting sufficient vitamin D, you’re in good firm. Vitamin D has lengthy been identified to enhance bone well being by absorbing calcium. This will result in long-term advantages for folks as they age to extend their bone density and stop falls and accidents. 

As a energy athlete, vitamin D could also be much more necessary to you. Energy athletes can even profit from vitamin D in an enormous means. The vitamin may help enhance muscle protein synthesis, increase ATP and athletic performance, and cut back irritation. It could possibly additionally probably stop and heal muscular and bone accidents.

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread all through the world. If a physician lets that you simply’re poor on this vitamin, examine in about hopping onto the supplement train. Pack your sunscreen and your vitamin D dietary supplements into your health club bag, and soak within the features.


  1. Chauhan Ok, Shahrokhi M, Huecker MR. Vitamin D. [Updated 2023 Mar 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Obtainable from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441912/
  2. Shuler FD, Wingate MK, Moore GH, Giangarra C. Sports activities well being advantages of vitamin d. Sports activities Well being. 2012 Nov;4(6):496-501. 
  3. Ogan D, Pritchett Ok. Vitamin D and the athlete: dangers, suggestions, and advantages. Vitamins. 2013 Could 28;5(6):1856-68. 
  4. Alayed Albarri EM, Sameer Alnuaimi A, Abdelghani D. Effectiveness of vitamin D2 in contrast with vitamin D3 alternative remedy in a main healthcare setting: a retrospective cohort examine. Qatar Med J. 2022 Aug 4;2022(3):29.
  5. Tripkovic L, Lambert H, Hart Ok, Smith CP, Bucca G, Penson S, Chope G, Hyppönen E, Berry J, Vieth R, Lanham-New S. Comparability of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in elevating serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D standing: a scientific evaluate and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;95(6):1357-64. 
  6. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr;3(2):118-26. 
  7. Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide downside with well being penalties. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):1080S-6S. 
  8. Institute of Medication, Meals and Vitamin Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: Nationwide Academy Press, 2010.
  9. Roseland JM, Phillips KM, Patterson KY, Pehrsson PR, Taylor CL. Vitamin D in meals: An evolution of information. Pages 41-78 in Feldman D, Pike JW, Bouillon R, Giovannucci E, Goltzman D, Hewison M, eds. Vitamin D, Quantity 2: Well being, Illness and Therapeutics, Fourth Version. Elsevier, 2018.
  10. Domingues-Faria C, Boirie Y, Walrand S. Vitamin D and muscle trophicity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 Could;20(3):169-174. 
  11. Witard, O. C., Bannock, L., & Tipton, Ok. D. (2022). Making Sense of Muscle Protein Synthesis: A Give attention to Muscle Progress Throughout Resistance Coaching, Worldwide Journal of Sport Vitamin and Train Metabolism, 32(1), 49-61. 
  12. Chen Y, Liang Y, Guo H, Meng Ok, Qiu J, Benardot D. Muscle-Associated Impact of Whey Protein and Vitamin D3 Supplementation Supplied earlier than or after Bedtime in Males Present process Resistance Coaching. Vitamins. 2022 Could 30;14(11):2289.
  13. Moran DS, McClung JP, Kohen T, Lieberman HR. Vitamin d and bodily efficiency. Sports activities Med. 2013 Jul;43(7):601-11. 
  14. Dunn J, Grider MH. Physiology, Adenosine Triphosphate. [Updated 2023 Feb 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Obtainable from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553175/
  15. Chiang CM, Ismaeel A, Griffis RB, Weems S. Results of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Energy in Athletes: A Systematic Assessment. J Energy Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):566-574.
  16. Cannell JJ, Grant WB, Holick MF. Vitamin D and irritation. Dermatoendocrinol. 2015 Jan 29;6(1):e983401.
  17. Caballero-García A, Córdova-Martínez A, Vicente-Salar N, Roche E, Pérez-Valdecantos D. Vitamin D, Its Position in Restoration after Muscular Harm Following Train. Vitamins. 2021 Jul 8;13(7):2336. 
  18. Halliday TM, Peterson NJ, Thomas JJ, Kleppinger Ok, Hollis BW, Larson-Meyer DE. Vitamin D standing relative to weight-reduction plan, way of life, harm, and sickness in school athletes. Med Sci Sports activities Exerc. 2011 Feb;43(2):335-43. 
  19. Dougherty KA, Dilisio MF, Agrawal DK. Vitamin D and the immunomodulation of rotator cuff harm. J Inflamm Res. 2016 Jun 14;9:123-31. 
  20. Laird E, Ward M, McSorley E, Pressure JJ, Wallace J. Vitamin D and bone well being: potential mechanisms. Vitamins. 2010 Jul;2(7):693-724. 
  21. Goolsby MA, Boniquit N. Bone Well being in Athletes. Sports activities Well being. 2017 Mar/Apr;9(2):108-117. 
  22. Raj MA, Creech JA, Rogol AD. Feminine Athlete Triad. 2022 Aug 8. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. 
  23. Moyer VA; U.S. Preventive Providers Process Power. Vitamin, mineral, and multivitamin dietary supplements for the first prevention of heart problems and most cancers: U.S. Preventive providers Process Power advice assertion. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Apr 15;160(8):558-64.
  24. Marcinowska-Suchowierska E, Kupisz-Urbańska M, Łukaszkiewicz J, Płudowski P, Jones G. Vitamin D Toxicity-A Medical Perspective. Entrance Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018 Sep 20;9:550.

Featured Picture: Tatjana Baibakova / Shutterstock

Trending Merchandise

Add to compare
IRON °FLASK Sports Water Bottle – 32 Oz, 3 Lids (Straw Lid), Leak Proof, Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel, Double Walled…
Add to compare
Add to compare
Water Bottle Insulated 32oz 40oz 64oz 128oz Straw Lid Spout Lid & 3 Lids, Leak Proof, Vacuum Insulated,Stainless Steel…
Add to compare
Add to compare
Venture Pal Large 64 oz/Half Gallon Motivational Water Bottle with 2 Lids (Chug and Straw), Leakproof BPA Free Sports…
Add to compare
Add to compare
Coldest Sports Water Bottle with Straw Lid Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Metal Thermos Bottles Reusable Leak Proof…
Add to compare
Add to compare
H2 HYDROLOGY Adventure Water Bottle with 3 LIDS | Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth | Sports Hot…
Add to compare
Add to compare
H2 Hydrology Water Bottle – 18 oz, 22 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, or 64 oz with 3 LIDS Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless…
Add to compare
Add to compare
COKTIK 32 oz Sports Water Bottle With Straw,3 Lids, Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottles,Leakproof Lightweight…
Add to compare
Add to compare
HYDRARANK Half Gallon Water Bottle with Straw and Chug Lid – 2.2L Gym Water Jug with Storage Sleeve and Handle – BPA…
Add to compare
Add to compare
JoyJolt Borosilicate Glass Water Bottle with Strap, Silicone Sleeve and Lid (Grey). 20oz Water Bottles. Reusable Water…
Add to compare

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart