Why vitamin D is essential for muscle recovery
Vitamin D is essential for numerous functions of the body; however, it is especially important for people who exercise or train regularly.
Vitamin D plays an important role in support of several aspects of your wellbeing. While it is wholly vital for your healthy muscles, bones, and teeth, a decent level of the vitamin is also necessary for healthy immune system function.
Vitamin D is given its due credit and is regarded as an essential ingredient of healthy wellbeing.
However, the sunshine vitamin’s role in muscle recovery is one of its more overlooked contributions. We are not just referring to the daily maintenance of healthy muscles but the recovery of muscles after an intense workout session or physical activities requiring the heavy use of muscles, such as sports.
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How does vitamin D aid in improved muscle recovery?
Almost all intense workout routines involve repeated muscle contractions. When muscles contract repetitively, microtears will form.
Muscle microtears are usually accompanied by the worked-up muscles producing lactic acid leading to inflammation.
The post-workout microtears take time to heal, and with the inflammation, people end up experiencing a soreness which is generally referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
DOMS is a very common aftereffect resulting from workouts and usually lasts between 3 to 5 days. DOMS, especially when it initially sets in, can hamper exercise performance while it is present and may even have some effect on daily physical activities.
Evidence from research has shown that vitamin D helps to reduce exercise-induced inflammation as well as prevent the production of markers that result in inflammation. These markers are believed to be responsible for causing post-exercise muscle damage.
Another study found that vitamin levels before a workout are linked to quicker skeletal muscle strength recovery following intense workout sessions.
Vitamin D increases muscle strength and power
Strength-building exercises are an important part of training for athletes. Strength and power are critical measurement factors of the effectiveness of any sports performance.
Besides muscle recovery, an appropriate level of vitamin D can improve the performance capacity of muscles in more than one way.
Vitamin D helps improve the growth and development of cells that make up fast-twitch muscle fibres which are linked to strength and power.
Additionally, the vitamin enhances the communication between your brain and your muscles. When the brain’s signal sensitivity to the muscles is boosted, muscles gain quicker response and improved contraction.
A 2014 study found evidence of muscle strength increment as a result of vitamin D supplements. In another study published in 2012, taking supplements was seen significantly improve sports performance.
Other areas supported by vitamin D
While the body requires sufficient vitamin D to support muscle recovery and improvement, there are other areas of your health related to sports or workout performance that the good vitamin helps with.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in keeping your bones healthy by regulating calcium and phosphate levels in the body. All levels of workouts and sports depend greatly on your bones being able to support the dynamic movements of your body.
A vitamin D deficiency simply means your bones will be weaker. Weak bones are naturally more susceptible to fractures and injuries during a sports performance.
The best-case scenario in these instances involves time off from playing, training, and possible missed opportunities. The worst-case scenarios from sports injuries can leave a person permanently unable to participate.
Better sleep health
Sleep deprivation, at the best of times, can have adverse effects on cognitive and overall mental wellbeing. It is especially detrimental for people who work out or train regularly or are consistently involved in sports activities.
Growth hormones are released from the pituitary gland during deep sleep. Growth hormones are not only vital in the maintenance of brain tissue health but are also a crucial requirement for post-exercise muscle recovery.
The parts of the brain that manage the duration and quality of your sleep have vitamin D receptors. A study published in 2018 has shown that the risk of sleep disorder is 60% in people with vitamin D deficiency.
Another study from 2017 documents proof of people on vitamin D supplementation experienced better sleep quality and decreased sleep latency.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
The most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- Pain in the bones
- Chronic tiredness
- Less stamina
- Pain the muscles
- Loss of hair
- Low mood
- Feelings of dizziness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sweating excessively
- Slower healing of wounds
- Recurrent infections
- Inadvertent weight gain
You may have vitamin D deficiency if you suffer from one or more of the symptoms listed here.
How VIVO Clinic can help
If you suspect you are vitamin D deficient, you can use our blood test service to check your vitamin D levels as well as other essential vitamins.
Find out if your body is receiving ample vitamin D
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