Sun Bodybuilding NotesInvestigate the role of sun, sunlight and vitamin D in muscle growth and bodybuilding.
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Sun, Bodybuilding. A bodybuilder lies on the beach. His bulging muscles are deeply tanned. He is getting lots of sunlight and vitamin D. How does vitamin D (a hormone) affect muscle growth and bodybuilding?

Muscle. Let's look at some medical research. This study measured the effects of vitamin D deficiency on old rats' muscles. So the old rats who were deficient in vitamin D (and sunlight) had more muscle atrophy—smaller muscles.

Thus Getting enough vitamin D (as though sunlight exposure or supplements) helps keep muscles strong and big.

Note This research applies to rats. But often we can extrapolate (and assume) similar effects happen in humans.

Quote A 9-month vitamin D depletion induced vitamin D deficiency in old rats. Vitamin D depletion induces skeletal muscle atrophy in old rats through a reduction in Notch pathway activity and proliferation potential.

Quote Vitamin D deficiency could aggravate the age-related decrease in muscle regeneration capacity.

Vitamin D deficiency, skeletal muscle atrophy

Muscle function. Athletes often want their muscles to be as effective as possible. This often helps with bodybuilding—a strong man can lift heavier weights and grow his muscles more if they are working well. Vitamin D supplements enhance muscle function.

Info This study establishes that using vitamin D supplements (like pills or milk) helps with cycling performance.

And Even if you are no skinny cyclist, and want to be a huge bodybuilder, using vitamin D will likely help your muscles repair and grow.

Quote Supplementation with vitamin D may also enhance skeletal muscle function through morphological adaptations and enhanced calcium availability during cross-bridge cycling; however, an exact mechanism of action is yet to be elucidated.

Vitamin D: Advances, Implications for Athletes

Testosterone. Testosterone is the male hormone. Men with hypogonadism have trouble building muscle or becoming aroused. Often, low vitamin D levels are found in men with hypogonadism. This is a bad thing for muscular bodybuilders.

And Having good levels of vitamin D, as through sunlight exposure and supplements, will help keep T levels high.

Bodybuilding As you know, having high T levels is helpful for bodybuilders—this is why many of them abuse anabolic steroids.

Quote Furthermore, we observed a trend towards increased risk of hypogonadism in men with very low vitamin D levels indicating a U-shaped association of vitamin D levels and hypogonadism.

Serum vitamin D levels and hypogonadism

Vitamin D. What is vitamin D? It is actually a hormone—it is a secosteroid. So like anabolic steroids, vitamin D is asteroid—one synthesized partially by the skin in response to the exposure to sunlight. As we read, it is the "sunshine vitamin."

And Often products containing dairy, like milk or yogurt, have vitamin D added to them. Many of us are deficient in this hormone.

Quote Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc.... The body can also synthesize vitamin D in the skin... when sun exposure is adequate.

Vitamin D: Wikipedia

Story. I have been told that I am likely deficient in vitamin D. I have light skin and I tend to burn easily in the sun. So I try to drink supplements like milk that have added vitamin D. This is likely not sufficient.

However We all have to do the best we can in life. The negatives of getting burned in the sun (skin cancer) also must be considered.

And I will never be a huge bronzed bodybuilder in perfect shape lying on the beach. But I try to stay healthy and gain muscle anyways.

Summary. Vitamin D is a hormone. It helps prevent muscle atrophy and keeps muscles working right. It is a steroid. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with hypogonadism, a medical term for low testosterone T—a bad thing for bodybuilding.

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