In the sunshine-starved city of Portland (especially NOW...summer, where ARE you???), vitamin D should be on your radar. Recent studies bring to light (pun intended!) the importance of Vitamin D for muscle strength, injury prevention for all - and especially for those interested in sports performance.
A new review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, vitamin D supplements help increase muscle strength in athletes who are vitamin D deficient. Higher levels have also been linked to injury prevention and improving athletic performance.
“Vitamin D deficiency commonly affects many people around the world,” said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Geoffrey D. Abrams, MD. “With higher serum levels of vitamin D playing a role in muscle strength, injury prevention, and sports performance, it’s essential for individuals to take necessary steps to ensure they’re getting an adequate amount of vitamin D intake, whether through direct sunlight or other sources including fish, eggs, fortified dairy products, and dietary supplements. Studies also have shown that daily vitamin D supplements are proven to be more effective than weekly or monthly doses.”
So, what should your vitamin D level be?
The Endocrine Society's guidelines for vitamin D say that:
What are the symptoms of low vitamin D?
How could an adequate vitamin D level help the athlete?
What's the take home message for you?
DON'T go out and megadose yourself on vitamin D in the hopes that in 8 weeks you will wake up LeBron-esque. But DO talk to your doctor about your vitamin D level. Know where you stand, and take vitamin D supplementation as directed by your doctor if it is recommended.