Vitamin D deficiency can seriously undermine the strength and athletic performance, according to a new study from the University of Tulsa.
The researchers studied the levels of vitamin D in about 100 college athletes. They also tested how fast the athletes can run, how high and how far they can jump, and how much they can do squats in one repetition.
Approximately one out of three athletes have adequate vitamin D levels (less than 72 nanomoles per liter of blood).
Athletes with adequate levels of vitamin D that can do squats 77 percent lighter than the lack of vitamin D.
The ability to run athletes who are deficient in vitamin D are also 18 percent more slowly, the ability to perform a vertical jump 15 percent lower, and the distance jumps to 80 percent shorter.
How could this happen? Theory says vitamin D may help muscle cells release calcium more efficiently during the process of muscle contraction, said study author Rachel Hildebrand, Ph.D.
The release of calcium causes muscle contractions become faster and more powerful, said Hildebrand. That means you can jump higher, run faster, and lifting heavy loads.
However, Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science at Lehman College, was skeptical that vitamin D may affect the power difference to so many.
He highlighted the scale of this study, which he called just a small scale and only found an association between vitamin D by force, but does not prove causality.
Even so, Schoenfeld admits evidence that vitamin D plays a role in strength and muscle development, he said.
Therefore, if you want to always fit and maximum in activity and exercise, make sure you intake enough vitamin D.
The Endocrine Society recommends consumption of 1,500 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Expand to eat foods rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish containing approximately 100 IU perporsi.