To master a game, we have to practice. We have to work hard no matter the costs, no matter the hours spent at our desks.
This drive to constantly improve and be better is what we believe it means to be a gamer.
Yet one of the biggest problems we’re facing may have nothing to do with what’s happening at our desk. And everything to do with what we’re missing out on.
It’s time for us to take a trip around the sun, boys. We’re going to tell you why you should care about Vitamin D, and how to get enough of it to stay at the top of your game.
The In”D”estructable Vitamin
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for strengthening your bones and muscles that can only be made with the help of outside sources: either sunlight or food. For food to make the kind of Vitamin D that our body can put to use, we need either Vitamin D3 or D2 (D3 being the best).
This vitamin is the Rambo of your bones – and when you’re talking about Rambo, it’s faster to mention his weaknesses than everything he’s good at. So we’ll cut to the chase about what not enough Vitamin D looks like.
The common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency can be muscle aches, bone pain, weaker skeleton (easier to fracture/break), fragile connective tissue (joints/tendons), compromised immunity (your prime COVID-19 fighting machine).
And some studies even link symptomatic patients to lower back pain (nothing says “old man” more than complaining about your back).
Why does our body get “Error 404” without Vitamin D? Because it relies on it to absorb critical minerals into our bones, like Calcium to support bone growth and strength. Vitamin D also circulates through our bloodstream before unpacking in our kidneys for maximum effect, making more rounds in our body than our last Mario Kart sesh down Rainbow Road.
The reason why we’re not getting enough Vitamin D has to do with sunlight
The majority of vitamin D (up to 90%) is acquired via the action of sunlight on the skin, converting 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3.
But living above the N 45 line (a line across the world that says the upper half is damned to 6 months of sunless winter) means that most people will get little to no Vitamin D from being outside between October and March.
Sure, we can beef up our Vitamin D diet as a result (and we’ll recommend some great foods below to raise your Vit. D levels.) But it’s not going to be that easy.
If we ate the most nutrient-dense, fatty fish 5 to 7 times a week we would just reach normal levels. So if we don’t want to eat every one of Nemo’s friends, keep reading.
Are we Vitamin D deficient?
One of the most at-risk groups to be deficient are people with indoor lifestyles. So gamers seem to get the butt of the joke because our lifestyles don’t bring us into the sun as much.
But we’re not alone, Vitamin D deficiencies are quite common. In fact, several studies over the years found almost half the population of the USA (roughly 140 million people) aren’t consuming enough Vitamin D (so much for having the “Sunshine” State).
So if you think adding some Vitamin D to your health routine could be the right way to go, let’s get to some easy tricks to make sure you’re getting enough.
How to get enough Vitamin D
Near Sunlight? Expose yo’self!
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so our body will store excess amounts in available fat deposits and slowly release it when it needs to. This is especially the case with sunlight – even if we spent the whole day in the sun, too much Vitamin D is the least of our problems (but that purplish-mole isn’t, better get that checked).
When our skin naturally produces Vitamin D it will start removing it when it reaches toxic levels (AKA our fat storage place is full). Dietary sources for Vitamin D don’t have this safety mechanism, so be careful about how much you consume in your diet and supplements.
How to regulate Vitamin D safely in sunlight
- Uncover 15 – 20% of your body in sunlight (let’s keep that 20% above the waist, alright there Schwarzenegger?)
- Stay in the the sun for 10-15 minutes
- Repeat 3 times throughout the week (not in a row)
Then, for days you don’t make it outside, your body will simply release stored amounts of Vitamin D to get processed.
Eat more fish
Cod Liver Oil is the densest natural source of Vitamin D and the easiest way to keep our levels high while hiding in our mancave. It’s also been linked to a ton of other excellent benefits for beauty (hair, skin, nails), eye health, and heart disease.
Other rich foods in Vitamin D are:
- Beef Liver
- Wild Fish (especially salmon, but make sure it’s free-range and not farmed. You’ll lose on all your nutrients otherwise!)
- and Egg Yolk.
Just remember that even with a diet high in Vitamin D, unless you’re more disciplined than Master Oogway balancing on a stick you’ll need more support to regulate your Vitamin D levels.
Get a boost from supplements.
Without fishy diets or tropical beaches, one of the only clinically-researched ways to support our Vitamin D levels is by taking supplements. Optimal supplements use natural sources to extract high levels of Vitamin D that we can consume daily alongside a varied diet.
Long-term use will regulate our Vitamin D levels and keep us balanced to maintain a healthy inner structure and immunity. Lifehack: step around the oily taste of Cod Liver Oil and find a capsule supplement for full daily support.
Ready to become fishier? Find your boost of sunshine, and go get em’ tiger.
We’ll be here next week for something extra special to help keep you in prime shape both online and AFK.
Witchdoctors of MADMONQ
Wanna learn more? Here are some of the sources we used to get the 101 on Vitamin D (our CEO Michal’s Brain is not listed)