Good ol’ Vitamin D! This vitamin plays a critical role in hundreds of reactions and processes in the body and an increasing number of studies are showing many potential health benefits including bone health, muscular function, cognition and reduced risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Your body naturally synthesizes vitamin D from radiation from the sun and we also can get adequate vitamin D from certain dairy products. However, there is an overwhelming number of athletes who have deficient serum vitamin D levels which can lead to different health problems and decreased physical potential. Here are our top six reasons athletes should supplement vitamin D.
Getting enough sunlight is critical to producing enough vitamin D naturally in your body. There is a positive correlation between the latitude you live at and the amount of vitamin D you are able to synthesize from the sun's radiation. One study showed that between November and February in Boston and October and March in Edmonton there is not enough sunlight/radiation to produce vitamin D3 naturally. Thus, if you live up North, you may not even have enough access to sunlight to get enough vitamin D year round. 
We'd all love to throw on the swimsuit and hit the beach or hit the park during peak sunshine hours every week, but of course life, work and weather gets in the way. A 2012 study on professional soccer players from the English Premier League and a 2011 study on professional football players showed that around 65% of their players had vitamin D deficiencies during winter months for optimal athletic performance and health. Where do you stand? 
There is a significant correlation between skin tones and vitamin D deficiencies. If you have a darker skin tone, your body may not synthesize vitamin D from the sun efficiently. 
Squats! A great dynamic, core exercise everyone should incorporate into their workout schedule, in my opinion. On leg day I started with 4 sets of 6, slow on the way down and explode trough your heels on the way up. Although it looks like I'm going slow on the way up too, the weight is just heavy! Tag a friend to show good form! #chickswholift #squat #squat4datbooty #asstothegrass #dynamic #lift #atthebar #legday #sore #trainheavy #bikiniprep
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve athletic performance in vitamin D-deficient athletes. If you do not spend much time in the sun or drink and eat dairy you may see some great benefits from vitamin D supplementation. 
Lower serum concentrations of vitamin D may be a predisposing element for bone stress fractures. As athletes, we put our joints and bones under tremendous amounts of stress and pressure. Highly repetitive, load bearing exercises and overuse are the most common cause of a sports stress fracture. Fatigue causes your muscles to transfer the load to your joints and bones which then leads to a host of problems. 
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient that plays a number of roles inside the body and can be especially important for athletes. When possible you should aim to get in some quality time outdoors where your body will be able to naturally synthesize vitamin D from the sunlight. Obviously you don’t want to overdo it and burn yourself, but a good 15-20 minute outdoor session each day can help boost levels of this awesome vitamin. You should consider supplementing with vitamin D if you live up North and get limited sunshine, or if you are stuck indoors at work all the time and don’t get regular access to the sun. If you're interested in trying out supplements like Vitamin D and other sports nutrition supplements, consider subscribing to PrettyFit. It's an awesome way to discover new products, save money and make health and fitness fun.