By Alisa Hrustic
Not getting enough vitamin D may seriously hinder your strength and athletic performance, a new study from the University of Tulsa suggests.
Researchers studied the blood levels of vitamin D of about 100 college athletes. They also tested how fast the athletes could sprint, how high and how far they could jump, and how much weight they could squat for one rep. About 1 in 3 of the athletes had inadequate levels of vitamin D (less than 72 nanomoles per liter of blood). Those athletes’ one-rep maxes on the squat were 77% lighter than people with higher D levels. In addition, their shuttle runs were 18% slower, their vertical leaps 15% lower, and their distance jumps 80% shorter.
That can lead to faster and more powerful contractions, says Hildebrand—meaning you can jump higher, sprint faster, and lift heavier.
Brad Schoenfeld, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise science at Lehman College, is skeptical that vitamin D could affect your strengththat much. The study was small, and it only found a link between D and strength—it doesn’t necessarily prove cause and effect.
Still, there is evidence that D plays a role in muscle strength and development, he says.
Regardless, it would be wise for many of us to get more of the vitamin. One 2010 study found that 42% of US adults were deficient.
The Endocrine Society recommends consuming 1,500 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day. Load up on D-rich foods like fatty fish and fortified milk, which contains about 100 IU per cup, to increase your intake. A supplement can help, too. Try Thera-D 2000 ($25; theralogix.com).
Source: Prevention | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide