“Mainstream medicine would be way different if they focused on prevention even half as much as they focused on intervention…” ~Anonymous
Vitamin D deficiency is common in athletes. Correcting the deficiency by taking a Vitamin D supplement can produce significant musculoskeletal sports health benefits. Here are Vitamin D Effects on sports health & athletic performance. Vitamin D affects:
muscle protein synthesis, muscle strength, muscle size, reaction time, balance, coordination, endurance
inflammation; and immunity. Vitamin D deficiency produces: muscle fiber atrophy, slow peak muscle contraction, prolonged time to muscle relaxation, and increased risk of chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Type II, fast-twitch muscles fibers, extremely important in many of the burst activities necessary for peak athletic performance and fall avoidance, are particularly sensitive to the effects of Vitamin D deficiency. There is no known threshold for optimal sports health benefits of vitamin D, but studies show many elite athletes are vitamin D deficient, with incidences of vitamin D deficiency in:
basketball players (up to 94%)
football players (81%)
Because seasonal variations are expected (athletes have higher levels in the summer, when they are getting vitamin D from exposure to the sun), so current recommendations are for testing athletes in early autumn.
Vitamin D is found in many food sources, such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D. The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It is used, alone or in combination with calcium, to increase bone mineral density and decrease fractures. Recently, research also suggests that vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases. It helps the intestine absorb nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus. This ensures strong bones and a strong immune system. Vitamin D provides calcium balance in the body that prevents osteoporosis or arthritis. Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, relieves body aches and pains by reducing muscle spasms, reduces respiratory infections, helps in differentiation of the cells, aids in insulin secretion, helps fight depression, improves overall skin health by reducing wrinkles, makes skin soft, strong, and smooth, and improves cardiovascular strength by providing a protective lining for the blood vessels.
Although vitamin D supplements are not as effective as synthesizing vitamin D naturally by the body, they are still effective in treating several medical conditions. Vitamin D fortified food products and fortified milk can also provide this essential nutrient to our body.
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“Don’t Just Play the Game! Learn and Understand how the Game is Played!”
Domonique Hargrove B.A., M.S. Founder of “Slight Edge Performance Program”