Vitamin D Challenge



In this guide:
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Invite your friends, family, or community to a vitamin D challenge with you. It’s fun, and you’ll even earn rewards!


What is Vitamin D?

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Our bodies synthesize vitamin D from the sun’s UVB light. But with so many of us spending more time indoors during the day, vitamin D levels tend to become more reduced. This becomes even more prevalent in winter climates.


Vitamin D is important for so many different body processes, from bone and muscle health to immune health. As you can probably guess, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of health complications. 


Get on top of your vitamin D levels by starting a vitamin D challenge with some friends. Keep each other accountable and motivated to stick to this habit!

Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Maintaining strong and healthy bones

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for the development and maintenance of bones. It can help to prevent bone disorders such as osteoporosis and rickets.

Immune system function

Vitamin D is known to play a role in the functioning of the immune system and may help to prevent certain types of infections.

Reducing the risk of certain diseases

Some research suggests that vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon, breast and prostate cancer.

Heart health

Some studies suggest that vitamin D may help to lower the risk of heart disease by improving blood pressure and reducing inflammation.

Health benefits of vitamin d
Improving mood

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Adequate vitamin D intake may help to improve mood and prevent these conditions.

Supporting healthy pregnancy

Pregnant women who have adequate vitamin D levels may have a lower risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and potentially preterm birth.

Improving muscle strength and athletic performance

Vitamin D plays an important role in muscle health and function, supplementing with vitamin D3 may help to improve muscle strength and athletic performance.

Reducing the risk of MS

Some studies suggest that vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and that people with MS may benefit from taking vitamin D supplements.

14 Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency

If left untreated, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of health problems, including osteoporosis, increased risk of bone fractures, depression, weakened immune system, increased risk of infections, and even some types of cancer.


Here are 14 signs of a vitamin D deficiency:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Muscle weakness and pain
  • Bone pain and tenderness
  • Increased risk of fractures
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Slow wound healing
  • Frequent infections and illnesses
  • Reduced endurance during physical activity
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dry skin and psoriasis
  • High blood pressure

It’s important to note that some of these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, so it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

Vitamin D Sources

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The best ways to get vitamin D are through sun exposure and some dietary sources.


Sun exposure. The body can produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. However, it’s important to note that excessive sun exposure can cause skin damage, so it’s important to use sun protection and avoid prolonged sun exposure during the middle of the day.


Supplements. Vitamin D supplements are an effective way to increase vitamin D levels in people who are deficient or who have a hard time getting enough from diet and sun exposure alone. The best form of supplement to take will depend on your individual needs, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement.


UV lamps and tanning beds. UV lamps and tanning beds can provide vitamin D, but it’s important to note that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends against using tanning beds due to the increased risk of skin cancer.

sources of vitamin d

Diet. Vitamin D can be found in a few food sources, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Fortified foods, such as milk, cereal and orange juice can also be a good source of vitamin D. However, dietary sources alone may not provide enough vitamin D to meet the body’s needs.


It’s worth noting that the body’s capacity to produce vitamin D decreases with age and people with darker skin have a harder time producing vitamin D, thus they may require more sun exposure or vitamin D supplementation. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to find the best way for you to get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D Supplements

Before starting any vitamin D supplement it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medications. They will be able to recommend the best form of supplement for your individual needs and help you determine the appropriate dosage.


Here are a few different forms of vitamin D supplements.


Vitamin D supplements come in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, and soft gels. These can be taken with or without food, depending on the type of supplement.

Vitamin D drops

Vitamin D drops can be added to liquids, such as milk or juice, and are a good option for children or for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Topical creams & gels

Some vitamin D supplements come in the form of creams and gels, which are applied to the skin. These supplements are usually used to treat conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, but they can also be used as a way to supplement vitamin D levels.


Sublingual vitamin D supplements are taken under the tongue, where they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This can be a good option for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.


Vitamin D sprays are a relatively new form of supplement, which are sprayed into the mouth, absorbed under the tongue, and swallowed. This can be a good option for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Fortified foods

Some types of food such as cereal, milk, and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, this can be an alternative to supplement through oral routes, yet it’s not as concentrated and may require higher intake.

Best Time to Take Vitamin D

The best time to take vitamin D supplements can vary depending on the individual and the specific type of supplement being used. Here are some general guidelines:


With a meal. Taking vitamin D with a meal, especially one that includes fats, can help increase absorption and enhance utilization of the vitamin.


In the morning. Taking vitamin D in the morning may be beneficial because it helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, which can improve sleep and overall health.


After sun exposure. Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight exposure. If you get regular sun exposure, taking vitamin D supplements in the evening may be best, since this is when the body will have used most of the vitamin D produced during the day.


It’s worth noting that people who are deficient in vitamin D may have to take a higher dosage, and this could be split into two doses – one in the morning and one in the evening. Since excess vitamin D can cause imbalances with other vitamins in your body, it’s important to get bloodwork done to determine your vitamin D levels prior to supplementing to avoid causing harm.

Is Vitamin D3 the Same as Vitamin D?

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Vitamin D3 is a type of Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. 


Vitamin D3 is one of the two main forms of Vitamin D, the other being Vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is naturally produced in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, and it can also be obtained from certain foods and supplements. 


Both forms of Vitamin D – D2 and D3 – are converted in the liver and kidneys to the active form of the vitamin, which is important for regulating calcium and phosphate metabolism and maintaining bone health.

Starting a Vitamin D Challenge

Building a habit of getting more vitamin D can take time and effort, but it can be done by following these tips:


Start small

Set a small, achievable goal for yourself, such as spending 15 minutes in the sun each day or taking a vitamin D supplement once a day. As you reach your goal, you can gradually increase the amount of time spent in the sun or the dosage of your supplement.


Make it a part of your routine

Incorporate vitamin D into your daily routine, for example, by taking your supplement at the same time each day or spending time in the sun during your lunch break.


Set a reminder

Use a reminder app or set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take your supplement or go outside.


Track your progress

Keep a record of your progress, such as the time you spent in the sun or the dosage of your supplement. This will help you to see how far you’ve come and to stay motivated.


Be consistent

It’s important to be consistent in your efforts to get more vitamin D. Even if you miss a day or two, don’t give up! Get back on track and continue to build your habit.


Seek support

Talk to your doctor, a nutritionist, or a personal trainer to get more personalized advice and support.


Get your levels checked

Having your vitamin D levels checked regularly to make sure you’re not deficient, that can also help you to see your progress over time, and make adjustments to your supplement routine if needed.

Remember that a vitamin D deficiency can be serious, so it’s important to make an effort to get more vitamin D in your diet or through sun exposure, or supplement if needed. Too much Vitamin D can also become dangerous, and so if you are supplementing, it is recommended to get your blood levels tested regularly.

Supplementing Setbacks

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It’s normal to encounter setbacks when incorporating a new supplement regimen into your routine. Here are some ways to overcome these obstacles:


Identify the cause. If you’re having trouble sticking to your vitamin D supplement routine, try to identify the cause of the setback. Is it a busy schedule, forgetfulness, or lack of motivation? Once you know the cause, you can come up with a plan to overcome it.


Create a plan of action. Once you’ve identified the cause of your setback, create a plan of action to overcome it. For example, if you’re too busy to take your supplement during the day, try taking it before bedtime. If you’re forgetful, try setting reminders or placing the supplement bottle in a visible location.


Get back on track. If you miss a day or two of taking your supplement, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track as soon as you can. Remember, building a habit takes time and patience.

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vitamin d supplement setbacks

Buddy up! Sometimes, it can be helpful to have the support of friends or family members. Invite them to join your vitamin D challenge to keep each other accountable.


Be flexible. Be open to trying different forms of vitamin D supplement or different times of the day to take it. Some people might find that gel capsules are easier to take than tablets, while others might find that sublingual drops are more convenient.


Remember, building a habit takes time and effort, and setbacks are a normal part of the process. Don’t get discouraged, stay positive, and keep working towards your goal.

Vitamin D Challenge FAQ’s

Vitamin D is not known to directly cause constipation. In fact, some studies have suggested that vitamin D may have a beneficial effect on gut health by reducing inflammation and improving the function of the intestinal barrier.


However, some people may experience constipation or other digestive issues when taking vitamin D supplements, but this is usually due to other factors such as the formulation of the supplement or the presence of other ingredients. For example, some vitamin D supplements may contain fillers or binders that can cause digestive issues in some people.


If you experience constipation or other digestive issues while taking vitamin D supplements, you may want to discuss alternative options with your healthcare provider or adjust your dose.

The optimal frequency of taking vitamin D supplements can depend on various factors like your age, health status, and the dose of vitamin D you are taking.


In general, daily intake of vitamin D supplements is recommended for most people to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D in the body. This is because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body’s fat tissue, and regular daily intake helps to maintain consistent levels in the body.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D varies by age and sex, but for adults, it is typically between 600 and 800 IU per day.


However, some people may benefit from taking a higher dose of vitamin D less frequently, such as once a week or once a month. This approach can be particularly useful for people who have difficulty remembering to take supplements every day or who prefer to take fewer pills overall. However, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dose and frequency of vitamin D supplementation for your individual needs.


It’s also worth noting that while vitamin D supplements can be useful for some people, it’s generally best to get your nutrients from a varied and balanced diet that includes natural food sources of vitamin D, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods.

Unfortunately not. This is because the glass in windows filters out all of the UVB rays in sunlight, which are the wavelengths that trigger vitamin D production in the skin. As a result, you shouldn’t rely on the sunlight that comes through a window to get your vitamin D.


Furthermore, other factors such as the time of day, the season, and the latitude of your location can also affect the amount of vitamin D that you can produce from sunlight.


So the most reliable way to get vitamin D is through direct exposure to sunlight on your skin, ideally for at least 10-15 minutes a day without sunscreen (depending on skin type and UV index). However, it’s important to take steps to protect your skin from sunburn and skin damage, such as wearing protective clothing and sunscreen, especially during peak hours of sun exposure. Alternatively, you can get vitamin D through your diet or vitamin D supplements, which are also good options.

The time it takes for someone to feel the effects of taking vitamin D supplements can vary depending on several factors, such as the person’s individual health status, the dose of vitamin D being taken, and how deficient they were in vitamin D to begin with.


In some cases, people may start to feel better within a few days or weeks of starting to take vitamin D supplements, particularly if they were previously deficient in vitamin D. This may be particularly true for people who were experiencing symptoms related to vitamin D deficiency, such as muscle weakness, bone pain, or fatigue.


However, for some people, it may take longer to see and feel the effects of vitamin D supplementation. This is because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body’s fat tissue, so it can take time for vitamin D levels to build up in the body and for the effects to become apparent.


It’s important to note that vitamin D is just one nutrient among many that are necessary for good health. While it can be helpful in maintaining bone health, immune function, and other aspects of health, it’s not a cure-all or a magic solution for all health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about your vitamin D status or the appropriate dose of vitamin D supplementation for your individual needs.

Supercharge Your Supplement Habit

There are several tech products and resources available to help you start a habit of supplementing with vitamin D.


Reminder apps. There are various reminder apps available for download on smartphones, such as the MasterHealth app, that can be used to set reminders for taking your vitamin D supplement at the same time each day.


Smart pill bottles. Smart pill bottles, such as MedMinder and PillPack, can be programmed to dispense pills at specific times and send reminders to your phone when it’s time to take them.


Online communities. Online communities (like MasterHealth) can provide you with the motivation and accountability you need to stick to your supplement routine.


Health professionals. Consulting with a health professional like a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor can provide you with personalized advice and support. They can help you create a supplement plan that’s tailored to your individual needs and hold you accountable to 


Regular check ups. As mentioned before, regular check-ups with your doctor can help you make sure you’re not deficient, track your progress and make adjustments if needed.


It’s worth noting that it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen and in some cases you might need a prescription for Vitamin D supplements.

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