Vitamin D & Athletic Performances

1249325954_aerobic-exercises_1004107[1]If you are an athlete who is planning for good performances, you probably are developing in advance your training. You are also preparing in advance your pre and post -workout meals such as proteins, carbohydrates, water and electrolytes and you are probably trying to get enough sleep to recuperate. But are you also preparing the right micronutrients before and after an intensive workout for your fast recovery?

Multivitamins and minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and joint support nutrients should be also part of an athlete’s nutritional program. I will write more articles on this subject. But, now, I would like to focus on the newest research, which demonstrated that higher level of vitamin D in the blood can protect muscles from damages and speed up recovery after an intense workout. There is no doubt that vitamin D supplementation is a health promoting nutrient, but how this “sunshine vitamin” may improve athletic performances?

Athletic Performances?

In my opinion, there is no athletic performance by taking any supplements. I cannot take vitamins, minerals and other supplements (including vitamin D) and wait to become a champion. Athletic performances are gained only by training hard, smart and by planning your workouts. But specific nutrients such as essential fatty acids and antioxidants can protect the muscle from free radical damages. And now it was demonstrated that also higher concentration of vitamin D BEFORE an intensive workout will speed even more the recovery to the working muscle. If this proved to be true, then your next workout can be more rewarding leading to better performances.

The Clinical Study

body-solid-leverage-horizontal-leg-press-lvlp-1[1]A recent study by The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), in collaboration with USANA Health Sciences, revealed that increased levels of vitamin D before an intensive plyometric workout can reduce skeletal muscular weakness. The Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation (Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, UT, USA) and the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) approved this study and the results were published in the journal: Nutrients. Apr 2013; 5(4): 1253–1275.

The Protocol

Fourteen active non-smoking subjects participated in this study, doing specific plyometric exercises (stretch shortening contraction – SSC – with one leg) to induce peak isometric force deficits that would persist for several days. The SSC protocol consisted of 10 sets of 10 repetitive jumps (using a horizontal Plyo-press machine) at 75% of body mass with a 20 seconds rest between each set.  The primary objective of this study was to identify if vitamin D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ) concentrations predict muscular weakness after intense exercise. During the procedure, different blood tests were performed, including the blood vitamin D level, and serum enzymes (AST and ALT) which are all indices of skeletal muscle damage.

The Results

The researchers concluded that that maintaining an adequate vitamin D serum concentration in the blood, could attenuate muscular weakness after intense exercise. In other words, taking vitamin D before you exercise can help you recover more quickly afterwards, making it the perfect supplement to pair with your workout.

My Recommendation

Vitamin D can be picked up from the sun during your outdoor activities.  But just because it’s sunny out doesn’t mean you’re getting the proper amount of “the sunshine vitamin.” In fact, deficiency is common during the summer months when people use extensively “protective” sunscreen, and neglect vitamin D supplementation.

Don’t fall into the trap—make sure you maintain your vitamin D levels all year long to ensure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients for your body, especially when you exercise.  And make sure that the vitamin D you take is from a trustable manufacturer, who guarantees the potency and purity of their supplements.

usana_vitamin_d__80043.1353690555.1280.1280[1]Usually I recommend supplements from USANA Health Sciences, which is the only one company in the world, who has an Athlete Guarantee Program backed up by a Million Dollar. They manufacture their products in state of the art facility approved by the FDA, and in accordance with the pharmaceutical grade standards, which is superior to the food grade standard (cheaper) used by most of the other manufacturers of nutritional supplements. This is why USANA can guarantee that their products are potent, safe and free of contamination.

You can buy USANA Health Sciences products at the preferred client status, in more than 20 countries around the world, including Romania, and many other European countries. Visit my USANA business page, click Change Market (on the right top corner) and choose the country, then click on the PRODUCTS, and follow instructions. You can also choose to do your FREE Health Assessment, without any obligation. For additional information please contact me.

Stay Fit and Healthy for Life


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