I am not a big promoter of supplements and magic pills. This has cost me some business, and I'm totally good with that. I strongly believe in the power of our food, if we focus on eating meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar, to provide us with all of the micronutrients we need. However, there is one micronutrient that is difficult for us to obtain through our diet, not because we don't have access to eating the right foods, but rather that we don't get enough time in the sun. That micronutrient is Vitamin D.
Despite the importance of vitamin D, it’s estimated that anywhere from 30% to 80% of the U.S. population is vitamin D insufficient. For us Montanans, we make make absolutely ZERO vitamin D from the sunlight between November and March. Yep - that means unless you're taking supplements in the winter, you're most likely very low on vitamin D. Since we're turning back our clocks this weekend, we will have less exposure to the sun. It's time to start our seasonal Vitamin D supplementation.
Because Vitamin D is one of the most common micronutrient inadequacies it's also one of the most studied. A nutrient inadequacy differs from a deficiency in that a deficiency causes a disease, in the case of Vitamin D a deficiency causes rickets and osteomalacia. Vitamin D inadequacy doesn't cause a disease, but neither does it promote optimal health.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient that promotes calcium absorption, it also modulates cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function and reduces inflammation. Can you guess what might cause cell growth and inflammation, and requires neuromuscular function? You guessed it, high-intensity workouts and weight lifting. From March - November, spending more time in the sun, like going for a walk in the middle of your day, will not only give you enough sun exposure to generate Vitamin D, it will also help you recover from CrossFit. However, Winter is Coming.
Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, swordfish, sardines, tuna, eggs, liver or swiss cheese. If none of things things are part of your weekly menu then you might consider supplementation. You can take a Vitamin D supplement or you can take cod liver oil. Remember, Vitamin D is fat-soluble so you need to take it with something fatty like avocado, eggs, cheese, etc.
When considering nutrient supplementation remember, the dose makes the poison. Just because some is good more is not better. Too much of any nutrient is called vitamin toxicity, and Vitamin D toxicity can seriously affect your blood chemistry leading to a whole suite of negative health problems.
For the past few weeks I have been examining nutrition myths and sometimes it's difficult to tease out science from pseudoscience. Who do I trust for science-based facts and research? Examine.com. Here's a Fact Sheet they created about Vitamin D.
Bethanie, Why do You do CrossFit?
What was your life like before you started training with True Spirit CrossFit?
After gaining almost 50 pounds within a year, I found myself back at the gym. However, I didn't have alot structure and it was very hard getting myself to go and be consistent. Then I did my first 5k and started focusing more on running, but my body was not prepared for it and I was in and out of physical therapy with injuries.
What brought you to True Spirit CrossFit in the first place?
Although I was making some progress I knew I needed to be doing something different. I needed to get stonger. I was looking for a good program and structure. TSCF is also really close to work (hospital).
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
First, the coaches are awesome. They are all very knowledgable and genuinely care for everyone coming through the door. Also, I had avoided CrossFit for a long time because I am very shy and working out with a group sounded terrifying. But that has become my FAVORITE part! The support from everyone and the energy from the group is incredible and has made all the difference.
What was the first thing fun or positive thing you experienced while training with us?
I realized one day that I wasn't fighting with myself to go workout. I was actually looking forward to going!
Are you working on any special CrossFit related skill now?
I got my first pull-up a couple months ago which I never ever thought would happen and know I'm working getting multiple.
How has you life changed since training with TSCF?
Before starting at True Spirit I had stopped doing pretty much all of the activities I loved. I just wasn't physically able to get out and enjoy it, but now I'm back on my dirtbike, trail running more miles then I ever have, and strapped on my snowboard again. Just overall stronger and happier.
What's your favorite True Spirit CrossFit memory?
Probably the day I got my first pull-up. It really was a crazy feeling when I pulled myself up to the bar for the first time.
It's Myth Busting Monday and I'm revisiting some blogs I've written previously about how to wade through mis-information and silly bullshit so that you can critically explore the memes and "headlines" you see on Facebook.
With COVID-19 cases surging exponentially across the county and country the amount of mis-information, silly bullshit, and outright lies are increasing at the same rate. It's important to stop, breathe, and take a step back from the latest meme or headline so you can think critically about what you're reading.
There are two very important science concepts, correlation is not causation and confirmation bias, that I want to explore today. Understanding these concepts can help us see through the pseudoscience that often accompanies the latest alarmist meme.
Correlation is not causation means that just because two things have a relationship it does not mean one thing causes the other. An example might be, every time you have a PR your Coach is wearing black pants. Therefore, your coach's black pants are the reason you PR. Or, after you washed your car, it rained. Therefore washing your car causes rain. Or, people who have died from COVID-19 used the 5G network, therefore being on 5G increases your risk of dying from COVID-19.
Sounds crazy right? What about when someone shows you the data?!? Here's one of my favorite examples of correlation is not causation. This graph shows a relationship between the U.S. per capita consumption of cheese and the number of people who died by becoming tangled in their sheets.
Based on the data you could erroneously conclude that eating cheese increases your risk of death by becoming entangled in your sheets. But, you won't conclude that because there is no causal relationship.
What if that graph was people who use 5G and COVID-19 deaths? You might be more inclined to believe that using 5G will increase your risk of dying from COVID-19 because the data "show" that people who die from COVID-19 used 5G. But there is NOT a causal relationship. Believing that 5G will increase your risk of COVID-19 death is an example of your confirmation bias. If you want to believe you will, no matter what the data show. We are more likely to believe a relationship is causative if it reinforces our beliefs.
So the next time someone tries to tell or SELL you something, and they show you a graph that correlates their amazing claim with an amazing outcome, remember, correlative data points on a graph do not show cause and effect AND if you want to believe that this thing is true you're more likely to believe it even if there's no science to support it.
Critical thinking skills are fundamental to being able to successfully navigate life and not fall prey to charlatans, quacks and snake-oil salespeople. Want me to explore a myth? Suggest one in the comments.
COVID cases are on the rise in Gallatin County. We are following CDC guidelines and keeping the gym safe and clean for you. Please do your part by stating in your designated workout stations, facing away from your fellow athletes during the WOD, spray down everything you touched, and most importantly, wash or sanitize your hands after every class. We have provided small bottles of hand sanitizer at every workout station and there's plenty of hand soap at every sink.
Let's make it through this fall and winter healthier and harder to kill!
BTWB Level-Up Challenge in September
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