Does Vitamin D Give You Energy?

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    Vitamin D is essential for many bodily functions, and its importance to overall energy levels should not be underestimated.

    Do you ever feel like you don't have enough energy? We've all been there! But did you know that something as simple as vitamin D could help give you a much needed boost?

    Vitamin D is a crucial element in many bodily functions and its role in energy production has been studied extensively. With more time being spent indoors, and many of us having restricted access to direct sunlight, the importance of this nutrient is becoming more widely understood.

    In this article, we'll be discussing whether vitamin D can really give us more energy and how. By the end, you'll better understand how vitamin D is connected to your energy levels and why it's important for overall health.

    What Is Vitamin D?

    Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that has far-reaching effects on our health and well-being. It’s no wonder why it’s been referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.

    This vital vitamin is found in a variety of foods, including dairy products, fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified cereals. Vitamin D can also be created by exposing our skin to sunlight. It is produced endogenously when ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.

    Our bodies need vitamin D every day to function properly. Deficiencies of this important nutrient have been linked with a number of health problems. This is because vitamin D plays a role in bone health and calcium absorption. That’s why milk and many dairy products are fortified with vitamin D!

    Does Vitamin D Affect Energy?

    If you find yourself struggling with occasional fatigue, you are not alone. Fatigue can have a number of causes, and it so happens that some individuals with low vitamin D status often report low energy or fatigue. Research on vitamin D and energy is still emerging, but there is some evidence that vitamin D can help mitochondria generate energy; therefore, when vitamin D levels are deficient, you may experience a loss of energy. One study found that a megadose of vitamin D could relieve fatigue in healthy adults who are deficient in vitamin D.

    Does vitamin D affect mood or sleep?

    If vitamin D is able to affect our energy levels, does this mean it can also play a role in our mood and sleep patterns? Growing evidence has demonstrated that vitamin D has a role in sleep regulation. It's no surprise, then, that people who suffer from low vitamin D levels often experience significant mood swings, shorter sleep duration, and nocturnal awakenings in both children and adults.

    So how exactly does Vitamin D affect our moods and sleep? Vitamin D is involved in the production of several hormones throughout the body, including melatonin, which helps regulate both sleep cycles and our body’s internal clock. In addition, vitamin D helps boost serotonin levels, which are associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. As such, it’s not surprising that people with adequate vitamin D levels report feeling better overall than those without it.

    Other Benefits of Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is much more than just a supplement for bone health and energy regulation. This essential vitamin has been gaining attention in recent years for its many other benefits, some of which may surprise you.

    Regular intake of Vitamin D can have far-reaching effects on your overall wellness, from immune system support to cardiovascular benefits. The most common way to get vitamin D is through exposure to the sun, but top-up doses can also be obtained through certain foods and supplements.

    Your immune system plays a vital role in protecting your body and vitamin D helps keep it strong by aiding in the production of immune boosting cells like T-cells and macrophages. For this reason, regular consumption of Vitamin D is linked with helping to keep your immune system strong.

    A recent study has found that vitamin D supplementation may act to promote cardiovascular health by maintaining healthy blood pressure already within normal range. This study illustrates how vitamin D acts on endothelial and smooth muscle cells to help boost cardiovascular health.

    Signs of A Vitamin D Deficiency

    Vitamin D is a vital component of human health, and its deficiency can cause serious health issues. People can develop vitamin D deficiency when exposure to sunlight is limited, the kidneys cannot convert 25(OH)D to its active form, usual intakes are lower over time than recommended levels, or absorption of vitamin D from the digestive tract is inadequate.

    Diets low in vitamin D are more common in people who have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance and those who consume an ovo-vegetarian or vegan diet. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency may include fatigue, not sleeping well, hair loss, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and pale skinThese symptoms are not exclusive to a vitamin D deficiency so be sure to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any new symptoms or health concerns.

    How To Increase Vitamin D Levels

    Increasing vitamin D levels can be achieved with a few simple steps. Vitamin D production in the skin is the primary natural source of vitamin D, but many people have insufficient levels because they live in places where sunlight is limited in winter, or because they have limited sun exposure. While sun exposure is a natural way to get vitamin D, certain foods and supplements can also help increase vitamin D levels.

    Foods such as fatty fish (including salmon), eggs, and fortified dairy products are great sources of vitamin D that should be included in your diet. Supplements are also a great way to help boost your intake, as there aren’t that many food sources that naturally contain vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are available in two forms: vitamin D2 (“ergocalciferol” or pre-vitamin D) and vitamin D3 (“cholecalciferol”). It is best to purchase supplements in the D3 form, as they are more easily converted to active vitamin D in the body.

    The recommended daily value is 15 mcg (600 IU) for adults under 70, so look for supplements containing this amount or more. If you are deficient, you may need as much as 100 mcg (4000 IU) per day to raise levels properly.

    The Bottom Line

    Vitamin D is essential for many bodily functions, especially for its role in energy production. This vital vitamin is fundamental for producing energy in the body and ensuring that it is properly distributed throughout. Without adequate vitamin D levels, our bodies are at risk of becoming sluggish and unable to perform optimally.

    Aside from energy production, the benefits of vitamin D are far-reaching, affecting everything from mood to sleep to immunity. It is a crucial nutrient for when you’re trying to maintain sustained energy throughout the day. It also plays an important role in maintaining strong bones and teeth due to its ability to absorb calcium from food sources. It can be difficult for many individuals to obtain proper vitamin D levels through sunlight and food. That’s why a high-quality D3 supplement is a great way to boost your levels!

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.