Vitamin D is an extremely vital fat soluble vitamin. It occurs in a variety of forms before ingestion into the human body. The two commonest variants are the Vitamin D2 and the Vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 also known as ergocalciferol can be found in some plants while the latter is found in animals. It is worth noting however, that both vitamin D2 and D3 are inactive forms of vitamin D which need to be activated by the body for them to be useful to the body
Vitamin D has a variety of bodily functions that make it a vital vitamin. The main function of this vitamin is increasing protein synthesis in the body and enabling calcium absorption and metabolism. Calcium on the other hand enables bone development, muscular relaxation and contraction, reduces blood pressure and aids in the strengthening of the immune system. Vitamin D is therefore highly important for muscular function and growth and for bone development. Another vital function of Vitamin D in the body is aiding the functions of skeletal muscles for the stabilized functioning of the nervous system.
What makes Vitamin D especially beneficial for an athlete is the fact that athletes require muscular fitness which Vitamin D aids in. In assisting in muscular functioning of the body, Vitamin D enables efficiency in athletes.Regulated ATP concentration, high jump power and velocity, increased strength, and overall peak physical performance in athletes is attributable to high Vitamin D levels in their bodies. Bone fracture prevention is enabled by the fact that Vitamin D aids in bone development. Subsequently, recovery from bone fractures and breakages is highly enhanced when an athlete’s body is used to highly synthesizing vitamin D.
Solar energy does not in essence directly impact vitamin into your system. What the UV rays from the sun do is that they enable your body to convert cholesterol found in your system to Vitamin D3. The sun’s rays hit the skin and convert the cholesterol to 7-dehydrocholesterol which then is converted into Vitamin D3 by UV rays. Vitamin D3 however has to go through another process of hydroxylation in the liver and the kidney for it to be synthesizable by the body. For an athlete, exercising in the sun brings the double benefit of synthesis of Vitamin D and maintained physical fitness which is reliant on the Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is quite rare in the foods we eat; which is why it is largely deficient in most people. Additionally, it is not found in adequate quantities in any of the foods in which it can be found. Only cod liver oil has the correct amounts of Vitamin D in it. Fish such as salmon, egg York, mushrooms, liver and breast milk are the other foods in which vitamin D can be found. This is why vitamin D is highly deficient in many people. It is important to take vitamin D supplements especially for athletes. Additionally, taking enough time to bask in the sun without sunscreen is also highly beneficial.
Vitamin D is vital in the prevention of an array of diseases which include; several cancers, rickets, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and several neurological disorders.