Some lifters are still deficient in vitamin D, even when they’re supplementing with it. Here’s why and how to fix it.
Around 56% of athletes have inadequate vitamin D status. Most are at least somewhat aware of the importance of vitamin D in health and performance. Some even try to bring their vitamin D blood levels up to an optimal range. The problem? It’s surprisingly difficult to get those levels up. Microencapsulated vitamin D3 solves that common problem.
Before we get into that, let’s examine the benefits of D3 and why it’s so difficult to get your blood levels up.
Why should you even care about vitamin D? Consider the following effects of having optimal levels:
- Vitamin D increases muscle protein synthesis and the overall capacity to perform both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
- Vitamin D helps maintain muscle mass during long periods of inactivity.
- Low levels of vitamin D correlate strongly with reduced lung capacity.
- Without proper levels of vitamin D, arteries get stiff.
- Women with optimal vitamin D levels have higher circulating levels of estradiol, testosterone, FSH, LH, and DHEA, all leading to better health and even better orgasms.
- Vitamin D modulates innate and adaptive immune responses.
But even if you assume responsibility for your vitamin D status, you’d have several hurdles to overcome.
The best way to fortify vitamin D levels is lying buck naked in the sun at least twice a week for 20 minutes. However, lying in the sun has largely fallen by the wayside because of legitimate fears of skin cancer. Even if we do venture out in the sun regularly, most of us wear sunscreen, which blocks the skin’s ability to convert UVB radiation into vitamin D3.
Besides, many people live at the “wrong” latitudes and only get therapeutic amounts of sunlight a few months out of the year. So scratch that.
There aren’t that many naturally-rich vitamin D foods. Aside from eggs, cod liver oil, certain fatty fish (mainly the skin), some algaes, and a few varieties of mushrooms, vitamin D is generally in short supply.
Besides, the total amount of vitamin D (both D2 and D3) found in a food during chemical analyses doesn’t reflect its bioavailability. A lot of the vitamin is bound up in the actual food and remains so after you eat it. Lots of things contribute to this: the physiochemical form of the vitamin D, the fatty acids and fibers in the food, the size of the food particles themselves, and the quantity of the vitamin itself.
Interactions between vitamin D and other fat-soluble nutrients might also be a factor, as well as a bunch of host-related issues (age, disease state, fed condition, genetics, obesity, etc.).
Then there’s how you might prepare any vitamin-D-containing foods. Heat affects it. Light affects it. Moisture, oxygen exposure, and even storage conditions affect levels of vitamin D. That means that any vitamin-D-containing foods that are boiled, pressure-cooked, Insta-Potted, baked, or air fried could end up being vitamin D compromised.
Unbeknownst to most, vitamin D has a partner. If its partner isn’t around, it doesn’t go to work. That partner is the mineral magnesium, which is already largely deficient in the typical American diet. Some surveys calculate that 85% of Americans lack this super-important mineral.
Athletes generally have it even worse because magnesium hitches a ride on sweat. The more you sweat, the more magnesium-compromised you are, and the less probable your body will transport, synthesize, and activate vitamin D.
So if you’re taking vitamin D and still can’t get your blood levels up, you may need a magnesium-containing supplement like ElitePro Minerals which uses the chelated form.
Supplementation is the most efficient way to up your vitamin D game. The trouble is, vitamin D supplements manufactured in the traditional manner are prone to all the same manufacturing and absorption problems attributed to vitamin-D-containing foods – moisture, oxygen exposure, and non-optimal storage conditions.
I’ve seen the repercussions repeatedly – even experienced them personally. You take the initiative and try to elevate your vitamin D levels to optimal blood levels (at or beyond 50 ng/ml or so) and start popping conventional capsules and grimacing down sardines for months, and nothing much happens. Levels don’t budge.
Recent technological advances have changed all that, though. The only form of vitamin D3 worth taking is microencapsulated vitamin D3. This form of the vitamin is manufactured by encapsulating vitamin D3 molecules in liposomes or solid lipid nanoparticles.
The vitamin then presents as tiny “beadlets” and is protected from moisture, oxidation, pH, temperature, and mechanical forces. The microencapsulated product is stable, water dispersible, and, most importantly, highly bioavailable.
The effects of this form of vitamin D3 remain constant for up to 14 days, making it clearly superior to conventional vitamin D3 supplements. People who use it have reported rapid and impressive increases in blood levels of vitamin D3.
Biotest immediately recognized the value of this form of vitamin D3 and incorporated it into its i-Well Immune Support product. Each 3-capsule serving contains 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 (as choleocalciferol), along with 400 mg. of beta-1,3-glucan, 400 mg. of EGCG, and 400 mg. of solid lipid curcumin particles, each with its own immune-boosting properties.
(These latter two substances work together with vitamin D to convey a host of beneficial effects on the human body, mostly in the form of immuno-enhancements.)
Using this form of vitamin D3, in conjunction with adequate dietary or supplemental magnesium (at least 300 to 400 mg. a day) stops this dietary epidemic of low vitamin D levels.
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- Rosanoff A et al. Essential Nutrient Interactions: Does Low or Suboptimal Magnesium Status Interact with Vitamin D and/or Calcium Status? Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):25-43. PubMed.
- Šimoliūnas E et al. Bioavailability of Different Vitamin D Oral Supplements in Laboratory Animal Model. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Jun 10;55(6):265. PubMed.