Effective vitamin D supplements for exercisers

You can incorporate vitamin D into your diet to support your exercise routine. Here are some vitamin D-rich foods that make excellent additions to your daily meals:

Vitamin D is a beneficial fat-soluble vitamin for individuals who engage in regular exercise. Beyond aiding musculoskeletal development, vitamin D also plays a role in reducing inflammation, alleviating muscle soreness, and facilitating faster post-workout recovery.

To ensure your body consistently receives an adequate amount of vitamin D for effective functioning and exercise, consider including the following exercise-friendly foods in your diet:

Nutrient-Rich Dishes:


Salmon is renowned for being rich in vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, the vitamin D content can vary among different types of salmon.

For instance, a 100g serving of wild salmon provides more than 24mcg of vitamin D, whereas farmed salmon offers approximately 6.7mcg of vitamin D per serving.

Meal Suggestions:

  • Grilled salmon salad with a medley of vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and a side of orange juice.
  • Salmon marinated in soy sauce served with mustard greens.
  • Pan-fried salmon accompanied by asparagus, potatoes, or carrots.


Mushrooms are a noteworthy source of vitamin D, along with essential B vitamins and potassium. The vitamin D content varies among different mushroom varieties.

Maitake mushrooms, also known as ‘dancing mushrooms,’ boast one of the highest vitamin D contents, providing 28mcg of vitamin D per 100g. More common mushroom types like abalone, shiitake, and portobello contain less vitamin D, offering less than 1mcg per 100g.

Whenever possible, opt for wild mushrooms or those exposed to ample sunlight, as they tend to have higher vitamin D levels.


Incorporate vitamin D-rich foods from both animal and plant sources like chicken and mushrooms for better vitamin D synthesis.

Food Recommendations:

  • Stir-fried Chicken Breast with Mushrooms and Broccoli
  • Soba Noodles with Kale Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian)
  • Mushrooms Stuffed with Steamed Tofu or Tomato Sauce
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Egg Yolk

Eggs are a highly nutritious, budget-friendly, and versatile food choice. While egg whites are known for their high protein content, it’s the egg yolks that are rich in vitamin D.

Eggs also provide essential amino acids, choline, and healthy fats that are particularly beneficial for individuals engaged in regular exercise. Each egg yolk contains nearly 1mcg of vitamin D.

Eggs sourced from free-range or naturally fed hens (which are exposed to vitamin D-rich foods) tend to have higher vitamin D levels, typically three to four times more than eggs from industrial production.

Meal Ideas:

  • Egg rolls with chicken, avocado, low-fat cheese, and leafy greens.
  • Poached egg sandwich with grilled tomato.
  • Brown rice topped with a fried egg and spinach.

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is a widely popular vitamin source that offers convenience in storage, long shelf life, and a rich supply of essential nutrients, including protein, niacin, and vitamin K, which are vital for athletes.

A 100g serving of canned tuna provides 6.7mcg of vitamin D. It’s important to select tuna with low mercury and minimal additives to avoid adverse health effects. Additionally, it is advisable to limit canned tuna consumption to approximately 170g per week.


Canned tuna can be easily combined with rice, noodles and salad dishes to supplement vitamin D for the body.

Food Recommendations:

  • Stir-Fried Noodles with Tuna, Peas, and Celery
  • Fried Brown Rice with Tuna, Eggs, and Low-Fat Cheese
  • Tuna Salad


Sardines stand out as one of the most nutrient-dense seafood options. They are abundant in vitamin D, along with essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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Sardines tend to have lower levels of toxins compared to many other seafood varieties, making them a safe choice for individuals pursuing a vitamin D-rich diet.

Sardines can be acquired either fresh or canned, offering a convenient addition to your pantry, delivering both protein and vitamin D.

Meal Ideas:

  • Salad with sardines, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese.
  • Canned sardines salad with avocado and grilled asparagus.
  • Spaghetti with sardines, tomatoes, and olive oil.


Cheese is another worthwhile source of vitamin D to consider. Additionally, cheese provides calcium and vitamin K, which are beneficial for fortifying bones and reducing the risk of exercise-related injuries.

A 100g portion of cheese supplies approximately 0.6mcg of vitamin D. Opting for low-fat cheese, particularly cottage cheese, is advisable to align with your fitness regimen


Low-fat cheese and vegetable salad is a great choice to supplement vitamin D for exercisers.

Food Recommendations:

  • Pancakes with Eggs, Rolled Oats, and Low-Fat Cheese
  • Cheese Smoothie with Peanut Butter and Protein Powder
  • Onion, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad with Cheese Sauce

Fortified Foods

Fortified foods are products that have been enriched with essential nutrients. If you have dietary restrictions or cannot consume the vitamin D-rich foods mentioned earlier, incorporating fortified foods into your diet is an effective way to boost your vitamin D intake.

Common fortified foods include cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals, and oats.

A single cup of milk (237ml) contains over 3mcg of vitamin D, while orange juice typically provides around 2.5mcg of vitamin D. Cereals and oats can offer approximately 1.5 to 3.4mcg of vitamin D.

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Meal Ideas:

  • Enjoy milk directly with energy bars.
  • Combine cereals or oats with milk, yogurt, and fruit.
  • Prepare oatmeal, banana, and avocado cookies.

Incorporating dishes featuring vitamin D-rich foods into your daily menu is a natural and comprehensive approach to ensuring you receive this essential nutrient, promoting overall health and more effective exercise.

While vitamin D supplementation can contribute to stronger bones and injury prevention, it’s equally important to follow an exercise regimen that doesn’t place undue strain on your bones and body.

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