vitamin d, runner, vitamin D for runners, running

Why is Vitamin D especially important for runners?

Yes. Vitamin D is essential for everyone; however for runners it has different implications.

A vitamin deficiency in anyone can cause several symptoms such as stiffness, muscle cramps, bone pain, balance and gait issues (i.e. clumsiness), low back pain, poor wound healing, depression, migraines, and allergies. However, for the runner in addition to these problems, frequent muscle cramping, side stitches, and risk of stress fractures occur.

You might know that vitamin D influences the absorption of calcium into your bones making them stronger; hence its deficiency can lead to weaker bones leading to the risk of a stress fracture. What you may not know is that vitamin D is really a steroid hormone and that your body can’t create it on its own and is not widely available in food sources. Instead, it’s designed to make it through sun exposure.

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10-15 minutes of sunlight exposure 2 to 3 times a week and as research has shown the optimal time frame to make vitamin D in India is between 11 am and 1 pm. Since runners run either early morning or evenings, in spite of sunlight exposure, they may not be making enough Vitamin D. So to run safely, have your physician check your Vitamin D every year, and try to be in a healthy range through optimum sunlight exposure and/or supplements.

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