PrintVitamin D Helps Beat Muscle Weakness after Intense Workouts

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Post-exercise muscle weakness may be due insufficient vitamin D.

Does an intense workout leave your muscles feeling drained? According to a new study, a lower level of vitamin D may be to blame.

The new study, published in the journal Nutrients, indicates that by maintaining sufficient vitamin D status (measured by 25(OH)D levels), you might be able to avoid muscle weakness after intense workouts.

Fourteen physically active adults participated in the study and researchers had them do single-leg strength testing with one leg serving as the control and the other being used to test muscle performance. Blood levels of vitamin D and other markers were measured before the exercise and then immediately, 1-hour, 24-hours, 48-hours, 72-hours, and 7 days after. Single-leg strength measurements were taken at baseline and six different times thereafter.

Results revealed, as expected, that muscle weakness occurred in the leg that performed the exercises compared to the control leg. The higher blood vitamin D levels that the subjects had, the less muscle weakness they experienced both immediately and a number of days after exercise.

“The novel finding of the present investigation was the inverse association between pre-exercise serum 25(OH)D and both immediate and persistent muscular weakness after intense exercise,” the researchers wrote.

This study adds to the growing list of reasons why it’s crucial to get adequate amounts of vitamin D daily from the diet or sun exposure. Recent data suggest that both vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) and insufficiency (21 to 29 ng/mL) may be associated with numerous health conditions.

The unique thing about vitamin D is that you can ingest it from foods and/or supplements, or synthesize it in your body when exposed to UV-B rays from sunlight. The liver and kidneys kick into gear to convert vitamin D from sun exposure into a form that can be used by the body for vitamin D’s many functions.

What’s unfortunate about obtaining vitamin D from the sun is that depending on where you live, what time of day you’re out in the sun, and your sun-safety habits—wearing sunscreen and protective clothing—you may be diminishing your exposure to vitamin D-activating sunrays. (For a handy mobile-device app to decipher when time in the sun equals the best vitamin D time, click here.)

Eating your way to vitamin D sufficiency isn’t all that easy either—vitamin D is naturally found in just a few food sources such as cod liver oil, certain fatty fish, beef liver, UV-exposed mushrooms, and egg yolks. Some foods (ready-to-eat cereals) and beverages (milk and orange juice) are fortified with vitamin D, but the levels of fortification may not amount to sufficient doses.

Instead of worrying about what time to get out in the sun without protection and what foods to eat to get an adequate dose, Isagenix takes the guess-work out of meeting your vitamin D needs with Ageless Actives as part of Ageless Essentials Daily Pack. The vitamin D you get from Ageless Essentials Daily Pack provides the amount needed to maintain a healthy status, and as the aforementioned study suggests, keep you feeling strong and ready for more after intense workouts.

Reference: Barker T, Henriksen VT, Martins TB et al. Higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d concentrations associate with a faster recovery of skeletal muscle strength after muscular injury. Nutrients 2013;5:1253-75. doi: 10.3390/nu5041253