Weight Lifters and Athletes: Stay Away From D2 to Pump Up Your Muscles

Trying to bulk up?  Stay away from Vitamin D2.

A new study says that, contrary to popular teachings, the vitamin tears up your muscles after heavy weight-lifting.

According to newswise.com, the study "showed that taking vitamin D2 supplements decreased levels of vitamin D3 in the body and resulted in higher muscle damage after intense weight lifting."

"This is the first time research has shown that vitamin D2 supplementation is associated with higher muscle damage after intense weight lifting, and thus cannot be recommended for athletes,” said Dr. David Nieman (Dr.P.H.), who directed the study, at newswise.com.

The study was designed to measure the effect of six weeks of vitamin D2 supplementation in NASCAR pit crew athletes and the effects on exercise-induced muscle damage and delayed onset of muscle soreness.

During the double-blind study, one group of athletes consumed 3,800 international units (IU) a day of a plant-based vitamin D2, the Web site reports. 

The researchers had hypothesized that taking the vitamin supplement would improve performance by reducing inflammation and aiding in recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage, particularly as many athletes are deficient in vitamin D in the winter months. However, they found that taking the supplement increased exercise-induced muscle damage in the pit crew athletes, the first documented evidence of exercise-induced muscle damage in athletes taking high doses of vitamin D2.

“When the sun hits our skin, it turns into vitamin D3. The body is used to that,” Nieman said. “High vitamin D2 levels are not a normal experience for the human body. Taking high doses of vitamin D2 caused something to happen at the muscle level that isn’t in the best interest of the athletes. Now we need others to test this and see if they come up with the same results.”







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