June 15, 2024

Heart Sofiron

Keep this treasure Safe

Vitamin D Deficiency in Athletes

5 min read

Vitamin D is usually referenced as the sunshine vitamin considering that the vitamin’s principal source is attained as a result of sunshine exposure. Nonetheless, many individuals are vitamin D deficient.


Vitamin D is a unwanted fat-soluble hormone that plays a important job in bone wellbeing, muscle function, adaptive immunity, and lots of human ailments like cancer, diabetes, and musculoskeletal health.2



Vitamin D Deficiency

In fact, vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide public wellbeing problem.


About 1 billion folks globally have vitamin D deficiency, although over 77% of the basic populace is insufficient.1 So, what does that necessarily mean if you are an athlete who performs an indoor activity, trains indoors yr-round, and rarely will get outside for the duration of the working day?


What if you also live in the northern hemisphere? Odds are you are not obtaining adequate vitamin D. Insufficient sunshine exposure can drastically increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency. It can direct to a wide range of damaging well being implications and hinder athletic effectiveness.


Investigate has illustrated that vitamin D substantially has an effect on muscle weak spot, discomfort, harmony, and fractures in the ageing population.1


Vitamin D plays a essential purpose in:1



Vitamin D deficiency occurs as blood amounts fall to less than 20 ng/mL (< nmol/L), while vitamin D insufficiency for athletes is defined as blood levels reaching between 20-32 ng/mL (50-80 nmol/L).


Research has indicated that 40-50 ng/mL (100-125 nmol/L) seems ideal for optimizing athletic performance.1


Who’s at High Risk?

The people at high risk for vitamin D deficiency:1,5



  • Decreased dietary intake: Certain malabsorption syndromes like celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, gastric bypass, inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Decreased sun exposure. Roughly 50% to 90% of vitamin D is absorbed through the skin. Twenty minutes of sunshine daily, with 40% of skin exposed, is required to prevent deficiency.
  • Aging adults: The ability to synthesize vitamin D decreases by as much as 75% as we age.
  • Overweight and obese individuals: Those who carry excess body fat can increase their risk of up to 55% due to vitamin D being trapped in adipose tissue and being unavailable in the bloodstream.


See the previous blog on factors that influence vitamin D levels.


Athletes Who Play Indoor Sports

Athletes who play indoor sports are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency.


Hockey players specifically spend a great deal of their time training, conditioning, and competing indoors, making it difficult to attain vitamin D through sun exposure. To add to the statistics, another study found that as much as 88% of the population receives less than the optimal amount of vitamin D.3


Several studies link vitamin D status to bone health and the overall prevention of bone injuries in the athletic population.


Research and Vitamin D Deficiency

Studies have illustrated that inadequate vitamin D levels are linked to a greater risk of stress fractures in young men and women published in the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery.4


A study published in the journal, Nutrients assessed vitamin D status among college men and women basketball players in the season. The players were either allocated a high-dose, low dose, or no vitamin D depending on their circulation 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at the beginning of the study to identify the optimal dosage of vitamin D3 supplementation optimal status.


The findings demonstrated that 13 of the 20 participants were vitamin D insufficient at baseline. Another finding was that of the athletes sampled, and the darker skin pigmentation increased the risk of vitamin D insufficiency at baseline.


Researchers found that most athletes who were vitamin D insufficient benefited from supplementation of 10,000 IU to improve their status.5


Another study concluded black professional football players have a higher vitamin D deficiency than white players.6


The study also suggests that professional football players deficient in vitamin D may also have a greater risk of bone fractures.7


Increasing power output is every athlete’s desire as it can translate into improved performance on the field. Your muscle tissues have several key receptor sites for vitamin D, and they will help support power production.1


A study in soccer players found that increasing baseline vitamin D status over an 8-week period leads to increased vertical jump and 10-meter sprint times.9


Of course, we need further research in this area to identify the relationship between vitamin D levels and power output.


Still, the current literature is promising and that, at minimum, baseline vitamin D levels should be desired.


Sources of Vitamin D

The best vitamin D sources include egg yolks, mushrooms, fortified milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, mackerel.8


Vitamin D rich food sources:


  • 6 oz. fortified yogurt = 80 IU
  • 3 oz. of salmon = 794 IU
  • 1 cup of fortified cereal = 40 IU
  • 1 cup of fortified milk = 120 IU
  • 1 egg yolk = 41 IU
  • 1 cup of fortified orange juice = 137 IU


Practical Applications

Athletes who train indoors, consume little vitamin D rich sources and live> 35 levels north or south may perhaps advantage from a vitamin complement of 1,500 – 2,000 IU for each working day to hold vitamin D concentrations within a adequate vary.


Athletes who may perhaps have a historical past of strain fractures, regular sickness, discomfort or weak spot, or overtraining symptoms must have their vitamin D status evaluated.


Vitamin D is most effective absorbed when taken with a meal that contains fats.


It is significant to adhere to up with a medical professional to assess vitamin D ranges even further and satisfy with a registered dietitian to go over nutrition intervention further more.



1. Ogan, D., & Pritchett, K. “Vitamin D and the athlete: threats, recommendations, and benefits.” Nutrients, 5(6), 1856–1868. 2013.

2. Umar, M., Sastry, K. S., & Chouchane, A. I., “Purpose of Vitamin D Beyond the Skeletal Function: A Review of the Molecular and Clinical Scientific tests.” Global Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018,19(6),1618.

3. Bendik, I., Friedel, A., Roos, F. F., Weber, P., & Eggersdorfer, M. “Vitamin D: a important and crucial micronutrient for human health.” Frontiers in Physiology, 5, 248, 2014.

4. Elsevier Wellbeing Sciences. (2015, December 14). “Lower amounts of vitamin D might enhance hazard of tension fractures in energetic people today: Specialists suggest energetic people today who participate in increased impression routines may want to retain bigger vitamin D levels.” ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 19, 2020.

5. Sizar O, Khare S, Goyal A, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency.” [Updated 2020 Jul 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing 2020 Jan-.

6. Sekel, N.M. Gallo, S. Fields, J. Jagim, A.R. Wagner, T. Jones, M.T. “The Consequences of Cholecalciferol Supplementation on Vitamin D Position Amongst a Various Population of Collegiate Basketball Athletes: A Quasi-Experimental Demo.” Vitamins, 2020, 12, 370.

7. Nationwide Institutes of Wellness – Office environment of Dietary Nutritional supplements – “Vitamin D – Simple fact Sheet for Wellbeing Pros.” [accessed October 19, 2020].

8. Maroon JC, Mathyssek CM, Bost JW, Amos A, Winkelman R, Yates AP, Duca MA, Norwig JA. “Vitamin D profile in Nationwide Football League gamers.” Am J Athletics Med. 2015 May perhaps43(5):1241-5. Epub 2015 Feb 3. PMID: 25649084.

9. Shut, G. L., Russell, J., Cobley, J. N., Owens, D. J., Wilson, G., Gregson, W., Fraser, W. D., & Morton, J. P., “Assessment of vitamin D focus in non-supplemented specialist athletes and nutritious adults all through the wintertime months in the Uk: implications for skeletal muscle mass perform.” Journal of Sporting activities Sciences, 31(4), 344–353. 2013.

heartsofiron2.com | Newsphere by AF themes.