En Español
Health Encyclopedia

News Item

Vitamin D May Get the Gold for Performance

Research has found athletes with adequate vitamin D levels perform better than those with inadequate levels. The research was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and included 103 college athletes from three separate National Collegiate Athletic Association programs in the southern United States. Researchers collected data on the athletes’ body composition, serum (blood) vitamin D levels, vitamin D and calcium intake, and sun exposure. To measure the athletes' performance, researchers had them do a vertical jump test, shuttle run test, triple hop for distance test, and one repetition maximum squat test. They found that:

  • Despite living in southern latitudes, approximately 23% of the athletes had insufficient vitamin D levels (50 to 75 nmol/L), and 9% had deficient levels (less than 50 nmol/L). The remaining 68% of the athletes had adequate vitamin D levels (more than 75 nmol/L).
  • The athletes with insufficient and deficient vitamin D levels had lower performance scores on all four physical tests.
  • Most of the vitamin D-deficient athletes were non-Caucasian. Because skin pigments block the sun’s rays that stimulate vitamin D production, non-Caucasians in general have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.

This isn’t the first study to associate vitamin D levels with athletic performance. Multiple studies have found active people with inadequate vitamin D levels may have a higher risk of fractures. So, whether you’re an Olympian, a marathon runner, or a weekend warrior, it’s a good idea to keep up your vitamin D levels. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and fortified foods like milk and yogurt. A vitamin D supplement may also be a good choice, depending on your needs.

Source: International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

Copyright © 2021 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.