Everyone Needs the D!
This underrated vitamin is often relegated to the dietary bleachers. But, instead of riding the pine, this supplement should be your MVP. Give this vitamin a chance to shine, and you’ll be rewarded with most (if not all) of the following benefits:
  • Increased oxygen consumption, which will lead to a greater VO2 (maximum oxygen consumption)
  • Increased muscle pump (because albumin binds to vitamin D metabolites, increasing the blood volume for a bigger pump)
  • Increased ergogenic results (because the skeletal muscles contain a bounty of vitamin D receptors)
  • Increased immune function (because sufficient levels of vitamin D inhibit pro‑inflammatory cytokines, while boosting anti-inflammatory cytokines)
  • Increased calcium absorption, especially when paired with sufficient levels of vitamin K2 (which is good for muscle development, bone growth and efficient nerve communication)
  • Increased testosterone levels (sufficient levels of vitamin D promote production ofendogenous testosterone, as well as having potent anti-estrogenic effects)

So many benefits can be increased with vitamin D. And more is good. But, sometimes less is more! This adaptable vitamin can also lower the following:
  • Inflammation in both post-workout and inflammatory conditions, such as exercise-induced asthma, especially if at least 800 IU is taken pre-workout (due to the efficiency of this vitamin at quieting the pro-inflammatory biomarkers aspartate [AST] and alanine [ALT]);
  • Recovery time
  • Blood pressure

Unfortunately, an estimated 67% of Americans are deficient in this vital vitamin. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D was recently changed from 400 to 600 IU/day, which is promising. However, for maximum training and health results, current research has shown that athletes (especially endurance athletes) may require anywhere from 800 to 4,000 IU/day to achieve their goals. Based on experience, bolus doses of 50,000‑100,000 IU twice a week have yielded far greater and faster results than small daily doses in raising 25‑hydroxy vitamin D. Adding an additional 100-800 mcg of vitamin K2 to your regime is also recommended (unless you’re taking blood thinners). These two vitamins work synergistically to create enhanced results.
To know where to start with dosing, it’s best to get your blood levels checked. Theranos Labs, located at Walgreens, provide a fast, efficient service that requires no prescription from your doctor and is inexpensive at $20 per test.
To learn more about vitamin D from the expert, read Dr. Michael Holick’s definitive work on this important vitamin, The Vitamin D Solution, which is well worth the investment in time and money.
Stay Healthy, Stay Strong. Malcolm Gwilliam

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