Is a lack of sunlight putting a cloud over your fitness/weight loss goals? Exposure to natural sunlight and UVA rays stimulates Vitamin D production in the body. Vitamin D is responsible for absorbing calcium, which helps send protein to muscles for repair and growth. The lack of natural sunlight exposure, especially during the winter months, can affect the rate at which calcium can transport the necessary protein needed for muscles to recover, grow and produce results. Another disadvantage is that African-Americans are said to absorb less UVA rays due to melanin and darker complexion. According to the CDC, 31% of African-Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Other than spending time outside enjoying the sunshine, taking a vitamin D supplement and/or eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna and eggs yolks can help ensure that your hard work does not go to waste.
Vitamin D has many benefits outside of supplying muscles with protein. Check out the list of what vitamin D can do for you:
Vitamin D helps prevent:
• Colon, Prostate, and Breast cancers
• Cardiovascular disease
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Check with your doctor on how you can make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamin D to reap all of its major benefits.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). CDC report finds U.S. population has good levels of some essential vitamins and nutrients. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0402_vitamins_nutrients.html
DeNoon, D. J. (2013). The Truth About Vitamin D: Vitamin D Food Sources. http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/the-truth-about-vitamin-d-vitamin-d-food-sources
Office of Dietary Supplements. (2013). Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/