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Elevate with Vitamin D

posted Jan 24, 2015, 2:30 PM by Debbie Sokol
We all know that nutrition plays a vital role in sports performance and overall well being, but what about a single nutrient like Vitamin D - could a little sunshine help your performance? Two studies have linked Vitamin D supplementation with increased athletic performance. The first, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, studied the effect of vitamin D supplements on ballet dancers. The group of dancers who were given the vitamin showed greater improvements in strength and higher vertical jumps than those not taking supplements. They also experienced fewer injuries than the control group. Another study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences conducted tests on a variety of professional athletes and found reduced sprint times and increased vertical jumps with vitamin D supplementation. 

Vitamin D can be obtained from food (fatty fish, orange juice, milk), supplements, or sunlight. Above the 35th latitude, you can't absorb vitamin D from the sun in the winter months, meaning everyone in the U.S, barring those in the Deep South and the Southwest, are at risk for deficiency between November and March. If you struggle to get the necessary  amounts, supplements are a great option; however taking them unnecessarily can be harmful and at the very least pointless. You can ask your doctor to measure your levels the next time you have an appointment before deciding to take vitamin D supplements. from Megan Kaplon, Volleyball Mag
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