Almost all of us know what it’s like to have sore, aching muscles after resuming a workout regimen or engaging in strenuous physical activity. Some consumers respond by taking a pain reliever or what are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But the potentially serious side effects of NSAIDs have led some of these individuals to explore herbal ingredients like boswellin, white willow bark, curcumin, maritime pine bark and omega-3 fatty acids that are scientifically proven to reduce pain and work against inflammation in the body. 1-2
But when it comes to sore and achy muscles after a high-intensity activity, a new study points toVitamin D as a potentially key nutrient for helping muscles recover quickly.
Why does muscle soreness take place?
Scientists don’t know for sure why muscles feel sore 8 to 24 hours after a workout or strenuous activity. Some believe that straining the muscles causes microscopic tears in the connective tissues and muscle. These tiny tears eventually produce inflammation resulting in pain in the form of stiffness and soreness. This is the body healing itself and the most remarkable outcome is that these muscles become more resilient than before. The next time you exercise, these muscles are not as likely to tear as easily.
Vitamin D May Help Muscle Recovery after an Intense Workout
Researchers at Kyung Hee University and Taenueng National Training Center of Korean Olympic Committee in South Korea subjected lab animals to high-intensity exercise. They noticed an increase in well-known bio-markers of muscle tissue damage, namely the enzymes creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Lab animals that received Vitamin D supplementation showed a weakening of these bio-markers.3
The lab animals were divided into 3 groups. The first group enjoyed a sedentary lifestyle; the second group was put on a rigorous exercise plan. In addition to exercise, the third group was given Vitamin D supplementation (1000 IUs/kg bodyweight). After 8 weeks, the lab animals that engaged in high-intensity exercises without Vitamin D supplementation showed increased activity of CK and LDH. This activity decreased, along with other bio-markers of inflammation, when the lab animals were given Vitamin D supplementation.
Researchers also demonstrated that the protein expression of Vitamin D Receptors (VDRs) increased in lab animals that engaged in high-intensity exercise and given Vitamin D supplementation. The team of scientists concluded, "Vitamin D may play a pivotal role in exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation through (modulations involving the) VDR."
More Benefits of Vitamin D
Up until the last decade, all that we knew about Vitamin D was related to bone health. However, recent research shows that Vitamin D is a hormone required for the regulation of many physiological functions. Vitamin D has shown strong, protective effects against many bone diseases, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and several internal cancers. Studies show that optimal levels of Vitamin D should be maintained from fetal development to old age.4 Whileoptimal levels are required for all age groups, more recent surveys show that Vitamin D insufficiency is much more than expected. According to a Harvard Publication, approximately 1 billion people across the globe have inadequate levels of Vitamin D. Even in industrialized countries, doctors are seeing a resurgence of rickets and other bone-weakening diseases.5
Offer your Customers Vitamin D Supplements for Overall Health and Muscle Recovery
As a supplement business owner looking to meet the health needs of those consumers in the market for a high-quality Vitamin D product, you’ll want to partner with reputable nutritional supplement manufacturers who complete all of their manufacturing in a GMP Certified facility and have the ability to provide you with an array of in-house services like label design, packaging, order fulfillment and drop shipping. Popular delivery methods for Vitamin D supplements that address muscle soreness include capsules, tablets and powders, so be sure to decide which one your customers will prefer prior to speaking with a supplement manufacturer.
- Gastrointestinal side-effects of traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and new formulations. Aliment PharmacolTher. 2004 Jul;20Suppl 2:48-58.PMID: 15335413. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15335413
- Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief, Surgical Neurology International, 2010; 1: 80. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3011108/
- Vitamin D3 supplementation modulates inflammatory responses from the muscle damage induced by high-intensity exercise in SD rats, Volume 63, Issue 1, July 2013, Pages 27–35, Cytokine, sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043466613001373
- Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review, Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):94-111.PMID: 15989379. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15989379
- Vitamin D and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/