Vitamin D is not a vitamin that we hear about as often as some, such as the B’s, C and E, however you might be surprised to discover that it plays an incredibly important role not only in your health and wellbeing, but also in your ability to grow and maintain muscle!
It regulates neuromuscular functioning and impacts upon protein synthesis. Studies have even shown that people with low levels of vitamin D are at higher risk of experiencing muscle weakness and atrophy. Yet ironically, regular exercise actually assists the body in the production of vitamin D!
Vitamin D has many other roles in the body, including promoting healthy bones due to its role in calcium absorption, regulating your immune system, assisting in the production of insulin and regulation of fat levels.
The great thing about vitamin D is that it is freely available to anyone who enjoys spending a bit of time in the sunshine each day. Exposure to sunlight enables your body to synthesize this important hormone like vitamin. So enjoying at least 30 minutes of sunshine a day will help ensure you have all the vitamin D you need. Remember though, in Australia we have a very harsh sun, especially in the summertime, so don’t spend too long out there and remember to slip, slop, slap!
Vitamin D is also available in small doses in some foods, including fish, eggs and mushrooms that have grown in the sun. However these sources of vitamin D are insufficient on their own.
If you live in a cloudy area, or your lifestyle requires you to spend most of your time indoors, then it is a good idea to consider using a supplement to ensure your vitamin D levels stay healthy.