Vitamin D

Happy Equinox Ripple Effect Athletes!

It’s time for our quarterly education email and updates from the desk of Carolyn Parker and the staff at Ripple Effect.

We’ve had an amazing winter, so much snow and if I get this email out on time we will be in the midst of another atmospheric river weather event 5-6days of rain and snow. The American west desperately needs the moisture. And while I am very thankful for the wet wet winter, many folks may be feeling a bit in the doldrums from the grey and wet winter. Spring is on its way, days are getting longer, energy is returning however what else might be contributing to a sense of just feeling low or off?

This is one of the reasons I wanted to focus on Vitamin D in this education piece. The other reason is I often get asked about supplements in general. I’ve added some fantastic resource links for you if you are interested in learning more about Vet D and other science based nutrition information at the end of this article.

Why do we need Vitamin D:
Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium and phosphate from food. It is important for bone and muscle strength and immune function, aids in sleep, and it may have other benefits such as helping prevent inflammatory disease, it helps boost your mood, can aid in weight loss, help lower blood pressure and might reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
So where do we get Vitamin D, one of the best sources of vitamin D is of course exposure to sunshine. Our bodies make vitamin D when skin is exposed to UV light from the sun. Besides sun exposure some foods are rich in Vitamin D:

As well some products are enriched with Vitamin D, milk for example, and some other plant based products.

In the winter we get very little sun exposure, days are short and cold, people are inside or bundled up and any skin that is exposed is likely slathered in sunscreen. More over, with the concern over skin cancer we cover ourselves with sunscreen and clothing year round which is important for protecting our skin and health but can lead to vitamin D deficiency or just insufficiency.
Signs of Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency include: fatigue, aches and muscle weakness, musculoskeletal injuries, bone density issues, depression, gut health issues, hair loss, general malaise and potentially other health related issues. There are varying opinions on all of the effects Vitamin D has on our bodies however it is widely accepted that it is a very vital nutrient we all need.
If you don’t consume enough of the food rich in Vitamin D or do not get adequate sun exposure. Sun exposure time needed does vary based on location and age and yep as we age it gets harder to create enough Vitamin D
How much sun exposure do you need? No sunscreen worn.

If you wonder if you have a vitamin D insufficiency you can get a simple blood test done to see what your vitamin D level is and consult with your physician on a potential supplementation.

Vitamin D Education:

Vitamin D Explained – a fabulous short youtube explaining Vitamin D and what it can effect.

Short article below if you’d rather read.

What about other supplements. I could write education articles on many supplements, the good news is the work has already been done! Here are a handful of links that look at supplements for enhancing health and wellness, especially as we age and some on sport performance.

The HUBERMAN LAB – Optimal Nutrition & Supplementation for Fitness

Dr. Stacy Sims | Protein, Nutrition, Supplements, Recovery | Ep. 184