Have you ever noticed that in the colder months where you don’t get much sunshine or it’s simply too cold to be outside you feel a little “off” in terms of your energy? Well, that can be due to the lack of natural vitamin D you get from the sun. In fact, there are some people who suffer from seasonal depression due to not getting enough sunlight (vitamin D) on a daily basis and it causes them to feel down in the dumps. When you aren’t able to soak up the sun, the next best thing to do is to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D from your diet and through vitamin D supplementation.
Sun or Supplement
As mentioned above, both the sun and supplements provide you with vitamin D. Your body actually has the ability to produce around 90% of the vitamin D you need all by itself when you are able to be in the sun, but getting that little bit of extra is key to feeling your best and reaping all of the benefits that can be had.
We should start off first by setting the record straight. When you are in direct sunlight, your body produces more vitamin D and then turns it into a hormone. The sun itself isn’t directly providing you with a source of vitamin D. The hormone created thanks to vitamin D is calcitriol.
If you decide to go the route of direct sunlight, you only truly need to be in direct sunlight for around 10 minutes to get a good amount of vitamin D production. The good news is, any additional vitamin D produced or you get through vitamin D supplementation will be stored by the body (think of it as storing it for a rainy day).
Now, when you don’t have time to be in the sun or when the sun doesn’t stay out very long due to the season, it would be wise to consider vitamin D supplementation. This means going out and purchasing a vitamin D supplement from your local supplement retailer, mass market location, or online. Taking a vitamin D supplement will help you maintain proper levels of vitamin D to produce calcitriol.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin D supplementation is 10 micrograms. Generally speaking, the pills containing vitamin D are very small and even if you do not like swallowing pills, you should have no issues with taking a vitamin D supplement.
Looking for food options? No worries! Some common food items that are high in vitamin D are tuna, salmon, eggs, oysters, mushrooms, and shrimp.
Benefits of Vitamin D Supplementation
There are many benefits you should know about when thinking about vitamin D supplementation. Below will outline many of those benefits and help you understand why it’s so important to be getting enough vitamin D on a daily basis.
1. Boost Immunity
Help fight off illnesses, especially those that can plague us all like the flu or a cold during the more frigid months.
2. Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels
Clearly, this would favor men, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for women either. The overall effect will be the greatest for men and would most definitely aid in adding quality lean muscle mass to their physique. And men, not only do the lean mass gains sound good, but you will also notice an improvement in libido and sexual function.
As for the female population, the little extra testosterone you would gain from vitamin D supplementation would help you also put on a little lean muscle mass (which is not a bad thing and women should not be afraid of muscle). Will the lean muscle mass increases for women make them big and bulky? Absolutely not. But that little bit can help them naturally burn more calories even while at rest thanks to any additional lean mass gains they can yield.
3. Reduce Seasonal Depression
When the body isn’t able to produce enough vitamin D on its own, some individuals can suffer from seasonal depression. By increasing your exposure to sunlight or through vitamin D supplementation, you can elevate your vitamin D levels and help ward off those gloomy feelings.