Vitamin D is something that flies under the radar for most people, we all know it comes from the sun, but it is also one of the most critical vitamins in your body. We included it as the first essential in our previous blog post - What Supplement Stack Should You Take For CrossFit?
Here are a few of the main reasons you should be supplementing with Vitamin D:
1. You're probably deficient.
Depending what study you look at, you can find varying levels of the percentage of population that are deficient in Vitamin D. What they all agree upon though, is majority of people are Vitamin D deficient - up 75% for those with light skin and 97% in those with dark skin!
2. It helps prevent injuries.
One study on NFL players found up to 64% of the athletes had deficient Vitamin D levels when measured in February - the winter when there is less sun. It has been shown that NFL athletes with low Vitamin D levels are more prone to injuries.
Athletes (and people in general) have a much higher chance of illness, along with injury, when low on Vitamin D as well.
3. It makes you stronger.
Those found to be deficient on Vitamin D are probably deficient in Testosterone as well. A year long study found a 25% increase in testosterone supplementing with 3332 IU of Vitamin D daily while the placebo group showed no improvements.
4. It helps you sleep better.
Sleep disorders are being linked to low levels of Vitamin D due to humans spending more time indoors.
In a 190 persons Sleep Apnea (OSA) study, those with OSA had lower Vitamin D levels than those of the control group and those with the most severe symptoms had the lowest Vitamin D levels.
5. But wait there's more.
Vitamin basically does it all; can help improve cognition, reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Increases bone strength, regulates hormones and combats inflammation.
As you can see there is really no reason to not supplement with Vitamin D. Currently, the Government's recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D is 400-800IU/day, this is about 10x too low!
If you live in a northern state (somewhere it snows regularly) or spend a lot of time indoors, take up to 4,000IU/day. For everyone else, around 2,000IU/day. Vitamin D3 can easily be found on Amazon or at your local grocery/drug store or...outside in the sun.