Vitamin D

How Vitamin D helps in building sustained strength

Written by Apurva Surve
Published: February 12, 2024
Apurva Surve is a consulting sports nutritionist and has more than 11 years of experience assisting fitness enthusiasts and athletes in achieving nutrition and performance goals. She has a bachelor's and master's degree in food science and nutrition, as well as an International Olympic Committee Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition.

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In nurturing healthy and resilient kids, it’s crucial we explore the role of essential nutrients. Among them, Vitamin D stands out as a powerhouse, contributing significantly to your children’s sustained strength and enduring physical performance. In this article, we will explore how Vitamin D contributes to the development of muscle strength.

How Vitamin D supports prolonged muscle performance among kids? 

Vitamin D is not just a sunshine vitamin; it’s instrumental in the developmental needs of our  kids. Studies have shown that Vitamin D has long-term benefits for muscle strength, particularly in promoting enduring physical performance in children.

Vitamin D increases muscular strength by activating type II muscle fibers. Muscular activities get triggered by metabolites generated in muscle tissue, including calcitriol, a physiologically active form of Vitamin D. Calcitriol changes how much muscles contract by controlling the movement of calcium ions inside and outside of cells. 

Thus, Vitamin D is critical for muscle performance, influencing its strength and contraction rate. Vitamin D deficiency in kids and teens may lead to muscular and joint pain, especially in the back, the thighs, or the calves, making it harder to walk or climb stairs, get up from a squat position, or run, and cause muscle cramps. Hence, optimal Vitamin D levels tend to exhibit enduring muscle power in children, providing a solid foundation for their overall growth. It may also help in increasing muscle fatigue resistance.

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How much Vitamin D does a child need for sustained strength? 

Persistent muscular endurance in kids relies heavily on the interplay of nutrition, physical activity, and sufficient Vitamin D levels. Experts recommend a daily intake of Vitamin D based on age, weight, and exposure to sunlight. Ensuring children receive the recommended amount of Vitamin D fosters long-term muscle strength and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal issues later in life. 

To harness the full potential of Vitamin D for sustained strength development in youth or to understand the role of Vitamin D in sustained strength training, it’s essential to ensure an adequate and consistent supply of this nutrient. The recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin D for children is 600 IU or 15 micrograms. The easiest way to get more Vitamin D is to go outdoors and receive direct sunlight. 

In India, getting 15 to 40 minutes of sunlight between 11 am and 2 pm, 2 to 3 times a week, can help the body produce more Vitamin D.

Role of diet and nutrition for kids’ strength

A well-balanced diet for kids that includes a variety of nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, is essential for overall growth and development of kids. We should focus on providing our kids with nutrient-dense foods that aid muscle health and endurance. 

Key nutrients that support kids’ strength include:

  • Protein: Essential for muscle development and repair, you can source protein from fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: They are crucial for bone and teeth formation and muscle performance. Incorporate dairy products, seafood, millet, green leafy vegetables, seeds and fortified foods, and exposure to sunlight for Vitamin D.
  • Iron: Supports the production of haemoglobin, which improves oxygen delivery to the muscles. Include iron-rich foods such as beans and dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamins A and C: Aids in immune function and bone health. Found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

Besides this, child nutrition extends beyond specific nutrients to encompass the overall well-being of a growing child. Adequate hydration, a diverse and balanced diet, and mindful eating habits contribute to sustained strength and vitality. Vitamin D impact on children’s strength over time is measurable and has been commented on by health experts.


Although Vitamin D emerges as a fundamental influencer in supporting prolonged muscle performance, it should only form part of a broader strategy that includes appropriate physical activity and holistic nutrition as well. Parents and caregivers can help their children lead active and healthy lives by understanding the connection between Vitamin D and sustained strength.

Disclaimer: This information is not to be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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