Take Your Vitamin D

santa monicaWinter is approaching. Holiday music is playing at my local coffeehouse, and the mornings feel crisp. With the change in time this past weekend, nightfall comes faster and my ability to run during daylight  decreases.

If you work full time or go to school during daytime hours, you’ll not spend much of the approaching five months getting direct sunlight. This means your Vitamin D levels can drop.

But you need the Vitamin D, as evidenced by recent research. In a study published in the Society for Endocrinology, researchers found Vitamin D can improve your exercise performance.

In this study, researchers from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh gave 13 healthy adults of all the same age and weight a vitamin D  or a placebo once per day over a two weeks. Adults supplementing with vitamin D had lower blood pressure compared to those who took the placebo. In addition, a fitness test found that vitamin D group could cycle 4.7 miles in 20 minutes, compared to 3.2 miles at the start of the test. Despite cycling 30 percent farther in the same time, the group taking vitamin D supplements also showed lower signs of exertion.

“Our pilot study suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can improve fitness levels and lower cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure,” said Dr Raquel Revuelta Iniesta, co-author of the study. “Our next step is to perform a larger clinical trial for a longer period of time in both healthy individuals and large groups of athletes such as cyclists or long-distance runners.”

How can you get your Vitamin D?

-Take a supplement
-Look for milk with Vitamin D added
-Add fatty fish to your diet such as salmon, swordfish and tuna
-Drink orange juice fortified with Vitamin D.
-Add one egg to your diet everyday and include the yolk–that’s where the Vitamin D is found.