D3 is a vital vitamin for bodybuilding, impacting multiple health aspects. It enhances muscle strength, supports healthy hormone levels and bone health, reduces inflammation, and promotes overall mood well-being, among other benefits (detailed below).
When weight training intensively, the body experiences extra stress that can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals needed for recovery. Even with a whole-food diet, most people require additional supplementation.
Building new muscle calls for more than what’s required by an average sedentary person; it needs extra calories and protein. This is why strength trainers consume protein shakes and additional calories.
Therefore, increasing vitamin and mineral intake helps our bodies rebuild stronger muscles while supporting our physical improvement goals over time. If you are looking for a complete bodybuilding-specific multivitamin, you can review this guide here.
Below are specific to just vitamin D3 and K2.
Why Natures Bounty Is a Great Value Option
This is a review of Nature’s Bounty D3, a popular vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is naturally produced in our skin with sufficient sun exposure, so if you’re not getting one to two hours of sunlight daily, you may be deficient and need supplementation. However, those instructed by their doctor to avoid vitamin D3 or who receive ample natural sunlight should refrain from taking it.
Nature’s Bounty is an established US manufacturer that has been producing lab-tested supplements for over 50 years. Their products are affordable and widely available in stores like Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, and Amazon.
Key factors to consider when choosing a good vitamin D supplement include its form (preferably liquid for better absorption), dosage (between 2,000-5,000 IUs), and safety certification (USP clean). Nature’s Bounty meets these criteria; its cost-effective D3 capsules provide 400 servings per jar for under $30.
The main drawback is that the product only contains vitamin D3, while optimal absorption requires additional vitamin K2. Hence users might need another K2 supplement alongside this one. Nonetheless, Nature’s Bounty’s D3 proves effective regardless of your lifestyle or fitness level.
Nature’s Bounty D3 supplement is a great choice due to its rapid-release soft gel form, which enhances absorption compared to dried powder supplements. These small capsules are easy to take and quickly absorbed by the body. Moreover, they are sealed in tamper-proof jars and offered at an affordable price.
Comparable vitamin D3 manufacturers include Whole Foods Market, Amazon Elements, and 365 Everyday Value brands. They all provide high-quality vitamin D soft gels at reasonable prices with various quantities from 120 to 400 count.
However, Nature’s Bounty stands out for value as it offers a pure D3 supplement in a jar of 400 count that lasts longer. Therefore, it represents excellent value for money.
Why K2 + D3 From Live Conscious Is a Better Option
If you’re seeking a comprehensive D3 supplement, consider the Live Conscious brand’s K2 and D3 combo soft gels. These popular supplements combine vitamins D3 (125 micrograms) and K2 (100 micrograms), resulting in superior benefits compared to standalone D3 intake.
Third-party tested for safety and ingredient potency, these non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free soft gels suit various athletes with dietary restrictions and food allergies. Adhering to GMP guidelines, they also exclude dairy, peanuts, and shellfish.
- Immune Booster: These two ingredients work together to strengthen your immunity. D3 plays a key role in activating an immune response to seek out foreign threats from invading your system.
The Live Conscious K2 D3 supplement uniquely features MenaQ7 – a proprietary version of K2 that promotes cardiovascular and bone health. Developed by Danish scientist Henrik Dam in 1929, this specific vitamin form is the only clinically validated type of K2 or MK7 available.
So while an exclusive Vitamin D3 supplement may be more affordable, combining it with vitamin K2 offers added advantages worth considering.
It’s also worth noting that the Live Conscious soft gels are considerably smaller than the Natures Bounty soft gels, as much as 50% smaller in my opinion, so if swallowing larger capsules is challenging, then Live Conscious would be the better option as they are not much bigger than a typical Aspirin.
Importance of D3 For Athletes
Vitamin D is essential for overall health and plays a significant role in athletic performance, including for weightlifters and bodybuilders. Here are some benefits of vitamin D specifically for athletes:
- Enhanced muscle strength: Vitamin D is involved in muscle function and has been linked to increased muscle strength. It helps improve the contractile function of muscles, leading to better performance during weightlifting and resistance training.
- Increased testosterone levels: Vitamin D is associated with higher testosterone levels in both men and women. Testosterone is an important hormone for muscle growth and repair, making it beneficial for weightlifters and bodybuilders.
- Improved bone health: Vitamin D is crucial in maintaining healthy bones by enhancing calcium absorption and mineralization. Weightlifters and bodybuilders subject their bones to significant stress, and optimal vitamin D levels are essential for bone health and reducing the risk of fractures and stress injuries.
- Enhanced immune function: Intense exercise can temporarily suppress the immune system, making athletes more susceptible to infections. Vitamin D supports immune function, reducing the risk of illness and supporting recovery from intense training.
- Reduced inflammation: Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit athletes who experience muscle soreness, inflammation, and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after intense workouts.
- Improved mood and mental well-being: Vitamin D has been linked to better mood and mental health. Athletes may experience psychological stress and mood disturbances during training, and adequate vitamin D levels may help alleviate these symptoms.
- Enhanced cardiovascular health: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Optimal vitamin D levels support heart health and cardiovascular function, which is important for endurance-based athletes.
- Improved insulin sensitivity: Vitamin D may enhance insulin sensitivity, which benefits athletes who need optimal glucose metabolism and energy utilization during training and recovery.
- Reduced risk of injuries: By supporting muscle strength, bone health, and immune function, vitamin D may help reduce the risk of injuries, such as stress fractures and strains.
It’s worth noting that while vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for athletes, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or a sports nutritionist to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure it aligns with individual needs and circumstances.
Additionally, natural sunlight exposure is an excellent source of vitamin D, and spending time outdoors can contribute to maintaining adequate levels.
Why D3 + K2 Is Superior to Just D3 Alone
Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 are often recommended to be taken together because they work synergistically and support each other’s functions in the body. Here are some reasons why pairing vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 is beneficial:
- Calcium regulation: Vitamin D3 helps with the absorption of calcium from the intestines, while vitamin K2 ensures that the absorbed calcium is properly utilized and directed to the right places in the body, such as the bones and teeth, and prevents it from accumulating in soft tissues like blood vessels and kidneys. This collaboration between the two vitamins helps maintain proper calcium balance in the body.
- Bone health: Vitamin D3 is essential for calcium absorption, which is crucial for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Vitamin K2 activates proteins that regulate bone mineralization, ensuring that calcium is deposited in the bones where it is needed. Together, these vitamins work to support optimal bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.
- Cardiovascular health: Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 both play roles in cardiovascular health. Vitamin D3 helps regulate blood pressure and support overall heart function, while vitamin K2 helps prevent the buildup of calcium in the arteries, which can contribute to arterial stiffness and cardiovascular disease. By working together, these vitamins promote cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart-related issues.
- Synergistic effects: Research suggests that vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 have synergistic effects on certain processes in the body. For example, vitamin K2 may enhance the activity of vitamin D-dependent proteins and help optimize their functions. Taking these vitamins together may provide greater benefits than taking them in isolation.
- Safety and efficacy: Pairing vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 is believed to enhance the safety and efficacy of supplementation. When vitamin D3 is taken alone in high doses, there is a potential risk of calcium imbalance and deposition in soft tissues. Vitamin K2 helps ensure that calcium is properly utilized, reducing the risk of adverse effects associated with high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation.
It’s important to note that the optimal dosage and ratio of vitamin D3 to vitamin K2 may vary depending on individual needs and health conditions. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified nutritionist coach to determine the appropriate supplementation strategy and dosage based on specific requirements and fitness goals.
Last update on 2024-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API