Is Vitamin D good for muscle recovery?

The importance of Vitamin D in ensuring bone health has long been recognised, but increasingly we are seeing research show the correlation between healthy Vitamin D levels and reduced muscle fatigue.

The role of Vitamin D

Just to remind ourselves, Vitamin D is essential for bone health, as it ensures your body can absorb vital minerals, like calcium. It is also important for keeping teeth, muscles, heart and lungs healthy and its helps fight infection.

It’s an essential chemical manufactured by the body and stored in the liver. It’s the only vitamin to be converted into a hormone when activated for use and is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiencies

It’s quite common in the Northern hemisphere for many of us to be low in Vitamin D. With the sun being the only natural source, as it can be hard to get enough sunshine especially during winter months.

Being deficient in Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis (fragile bone with a higher chance of fracturing) or osteomalacia (softening of bones also resulting in fractures)

Why can it help with muscle recovery?

Recent studies have shown that there is a correlation between Vitamin D, specifically 25(OH)D, and muscle recovery.

The studies have concluded that having higher levels of Vitamin D, in particular prior to exercising, results in less muscle fatigue and better recovery post-exercise.

You can read more on the studies here and here.

What does this mean if you exercise regularly?

A good place to start would be determining what your Vitamin D levels are. You can either assume, as you live in the UK, that you are deficient in Vitamin D or you can get it tested.

If low or deficient be sure to increase your intake of Vitamin D.

This can be done by ensuring that your diet includes foods such as: Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), red meat and eggs

Or you can start taking vitamin D supplements to increase your levels

And if you’re really dedicated to improving your levels you could book yourself a holiday to the sun.

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Aisling Moran BSc (Hons)

Written by Aisling Moran BSc (Hons)

11th May 2021 • 2 min read