Vitamin D is an essential element in athletic performance. Not only vital to bone development, Vitamin D allows body cells to utilise calcium, muscle fibre development and growth and optimum immune system function.
|Vitamin D Sports Performance|
Vitamin D is absorbed through exposure to sunlight, though with many people working long hours indoors, it is common to find that we’re deficient. Dietary sources don’t provide an adequate amount in most cases (unless you’re guzzling litres of fortified milk or taking a dose of cod-liver oil each day!).
Researchers recently tested the jumping ability of a group of adolescent athletes. The results found that those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D tended not to jump as high, leading to the conclusion that low levels of D lead to impaired muscle power. It is also thought to lead to greater risk of injuries and longer recovery periods.
In a Creighton University study, female athletes given Vitamin D supplements recovered from stress fractures at double the rate of those not given the supplement.
Five to thirty minutes of sunlight per week is safe and sufficient in most cases. It cannot be absorbed through sunscreen so ensure that post-sunlight exposure (maximum 30 minutes) you are applying UV protection for safety!
|Vitamin D Plyometric Power|
Or try supplements. 1,000 IU a day and much more for people who are deficient is probably close to ideal. This, by the way, is about double the current recommended daily allowance. Most experts anticipate that this allowance will be revised upward soon. Consult with your doctor before beginning supplements. Overdoses of Vitamin D are rare, but can occur.