You must have heard that the sun is the primary source of vitamin D. This essential micronutrient carries out several structural and physiological functions. While the peak day time is considered the best to absorb it in generous amounts, you may wonder, ‘Can you get vitamin D from the sun after 4PM?'.
Vitamin D, also called calciferol and sunshine vitamin, is the primary uptake factor for calcium absorption in the skeletal system or bones and boosts your immune system's strength. Other than sunlight, you can get adequate amounts of vitamin D from egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and vitamin D-fortified foods, such as cow's milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals, and oatmeal.
Many people believe that the intensity of vitamin D production in the body via sunlight decreases as the evening hues start covering the bright sunny days. This blog post reveals the realities behind common misconceptions and myths regarding, 'Can you get vitamin D from the sun after 4PM?'.
Recognize the Miraculous Sunshine Vitamin
Sunrise vitamin is a fat-soluble nutrient – that dissolves in the healthy fats of your body. But it performs the role of both a hormone and a necessary nutrient. Other than the maintenance of bone health and immune system, vitamin D plays a miraculous role in your mood regulation – a scientific fact known by very few people.
Before finding the answer to 'Can you get vitamin D from the sun after 4PM?', it is vital to go through the process by which your body gets this essential fat-soluble nutrient.
You already know that the sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are harmful to your health for many reasons. However, not all types of UV rays are dangerous. The sun gives off three types of UV rays – namely ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC).
A remarkable process starts in your body when your skin is exposed to the sun's golden rays. It absorbs ultraviolet B, which converts a cholesterol derivative into a precursor of vitamin D. The resulting intermediate product, cholecalciferol or vitamin D3, travels to your liver and kidneys, where it is converted into an active form of vitamin D.
Can You Get Vitamin D from the Sun After 4PM?
It is a common misconception that you can't get enough calciferol after 4PM. The truth is that your body can still make vitamin D in the late afternoon. Some studies have shown no adverse effects if you take supplemental vitamin D in the evening or night. Many multi vitamin for women and men can also fulfill your daily dose of vitamin D.
The entire process of vitamin D production in your body via sunlight sounds fantastic, but the timings and conditions of sun exposure matter. Several factors provide scientifically-proven justifications for 'Can you get vitamin D from the sun after 4PM?'.
1. Geographical Location
Your geographic location is the primary detector to get enough vitamin D because the time of the year and the changing pattern of climatic conditions in each country and city affect the sun's angle. Some states seldom witness vitamin energy from the sun, while the time for maximum vitamin D synthesis is longer after 4PM in some countries, particularly during summer.
2. Skin Complexion
People with fair complexion have less melanin in their skin – a hormone that imparts pigment to your skin. Within less time, such people's bodies can efficiently yield vitamin D during the late afternoon. However, the darker the complexion, the greater the amount of melanin in the skin, which slows down the ability to produce vitamin D. Therefore, darker skin tones need to bask in the sun for a longer time than fair skin tones.
3. Sunscreen Products
If you're going out in the sun after 4 PM, using sunscreen or sun blockers with a lower sun protection factor (SPF) allows some UVB rays to penetrate your skin to yield calciferol while simultaneously protecting you from excessive sun exposure, suntan, and sunburns.
4. Outdoor Time Duration
Within favorable weather conditions, staying outdoors whenever you can increases your chances of vitamin D production. However, suppose the weather isn't friendly, or the sun's heat is too harsh to handle easily. In that case, basking in the sun just when it is rising or when it is about to set in the west is recommended.
In addition, you can also utilize this time for moderately intense physical activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, or simply spending quality time with your dog on the walk.
Final Wrap Up
All these factors regarding 'Can you get vitamin D from the sun after 4PM?' point towards maintaining optimal calciferol levels by balancing safe sun exposure and protecting your skin from other harmful radiations. Many indirect factors, such as your routine, dietary intake, sleep schedule, and stress management techniques, are also considerable when it comes to soaking yourself in the warmth of golden rays, regardless of the time of day.