The sun is finally shining, and beer garden season is upon us. If you're inclined to trade treadmill intervals for park hangs in the warmer weather, roll up your sleeves and catch some rays – because dosing up on vitamin D could help keep your body fat percentage low, according to a new study by Nagoya University.
Just before the pandemic took hold in Japan, researchers recorded the body composition and blood vitamin D levels of 42 elite male athletes. Two-thirds were given a daily dose of the sunshine vitamin – equivalent to 1000 IU – and took it for three months, while the rest didn't take any.
One month later, in April 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak intensified and training facilities were closed, preventing the athletes from training for two months. At the end of the study, the scientists re-recorded their metrics. The vitamin-free athletes had gained 1.9 per cent body fat on average, while the supp-takers only gained 0.2 per cent. (continued below)
Furthermore, the greater the increase in athletes' vitamin D levels, the smaller their increase in fat percentage. "Vitamin D supplementation may play a role in maintaining athletes' body fat percentage under circumstances where sports activity has decreased," the study authors concluded.
Their trial is by no means the first to demonstrate the fat-sizzling potential of vitamin D. In a study by Tehran University of Medical Sciences, participants who took the supp daily for 12 weeks lost almost 3kg body fat and gained 2kg lean body mass. And in research by Kyung Hee University, dieters who took a daily dose of vitamin D while circuit training lost more weight than participants who didn't take the supp.
So, if you end up skipping the bench for the beach this weekend, rest assured it won't wreak havoc on your waistline. And if you do find the time to train, take your workout outside to double down on the fat-burning benefits. Either way, the sun's rays will keep you svelte.
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