Vancouverites have all experienced – at one point in time – a lack of motivation or energy that might come after a streak of rainy, grey weather. Believe it or not, you may have been experiencing this low state of energy due to a lack of sun exposure and Vitamin D! Who knew that the sun could have such a big impact on your physical health?
Sun exposure, or more specifically vitamin D absorption via sun exposure, is immensely important for a number of reasons. North Americans (especially Vancouverites) are highly susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder that is characterized by symptoms of depression (fatigue and lethargy) mainly due to the changing of seasons. This is more prominent in the fall and winter seasons due to a lack of sun exposure – and it is here where vitamin D supplements come greatly into play.
Vitamin D Supplements to the Rescue
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to decrease the likelihood of seasonal depression due to it’s mood and energy enhancing effects. The infographic above summarizes a study done on elite soccer players in Northern Europe. The players either took a large bulk Vitamin D supplement once a week or several smaller doses daily. The results showed that a daily dose of vitamin D was more effective at changing mood and energy levels than taking a bigger dose once a week.
Benefits and Daily Dosage of Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is a key player in maintaining heart health, a strong immune system, strengthening bones, and binding calcium. Therefore, receiving a smaller daily dosage allows the liver to continuously process this vitamin, keeping levels high. Conversely, a weekly dosage would get processed by the liver within a day or two, causing the levels to drop back to what they were before. The daily recommended dose of vitamin D for adults under 50 is 400-1000 IU. In contrast, for over 50s, it increases to 800-2000 IU since the risk of osteoporosis increases after the age of 50.
So get out and enjoy the sunshine while you can! It’s not only good for your mental health, it’s good for your physical health too!
Professional Training Coach
Innovative Fitness Kitsilano