Vitamin D is good for you. Everyone knows that. It’s one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market. But why? What’s so special about vitamin D, and is it really necessary to supplement a healthy diet with additional D?
The case for vitamin D
Despite its ubiquity, many people aren’t fully aware of how vitamin D works, where it’s found and what it does for the body. The sunshine vitamin, as it’s known, is synonymous with strong bones and healthy muscles; no wonder it’s so popular with fitness enthusiasts. But its benefits don’t end there.
Our bodies are dependent upon vitamin D in order to function optimally. Given the crucial role it plays in our wellbeing, you’d expect it to be easy to come by, and yet this isn’t the case. In fact, vitamin D is naturally found in very few foods. The good news is that our bodies can top up on vitamin D through exposure to ultraviolet rays – that’s right, sunlight. The bad news is that those of us who live in the northern hemisphere almost certainly aren’t soaking up enough rays to get our desired dosage. In fact, it’s believed that one billion people worldwide suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.
Get the D
Whether you’re a professional athlete, weekend warrior or casual gym-goer, you can’t afford to overlook vitamin D. Even if your training and diet are on point, low vitamin D levels can stymie your progress and impact on your health and wellbeing. Its benefits include – but are not limited to – the following:
- Stronger bones
- Enhanced muscle function
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Protection against cardiovascular disease
- Reduced risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes
The scientific evidence supporting the benefits of vitamin D is overwhelming. Deciding to supplement your diet with the sunshine vitamin, then, is a no-brainer. Deciding upon the best sources of vitamin D requires more thought however.
Oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain vitamin D, as do eggs and dairy. But to ensure you hit your recommended daily allowance – which stands at 15 mcg for men and women – you’ll want to supplement your diet with vitamin D. One ideal source is Healthy Whey. The premium whey protein supplement is fortified with vitamin D. Four 30 gram servings of Healthy Whey will provide 20% of your RDA. Other sources include vitamin D-fortified milk, bread and cereal. When shopping for such foods however, be careful: just because a product contains vitamin D doesn’t automatically make it healthy – many vitamin D-rich cereals, for example, are also high in salt and sugar.
From sunlight to protein shakes and capsules to cereal, there are a wealth of ways to get vitamin D into your body. For the sake of your health, happiness and athletic performance, make sure you get yours.