Can Vitamin D help your athletic performance?

Max Boettner is a licensed athletic trainer for the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute.

Max Boettner is a licensed athletic trainer for the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute.

Last October, Max was watching friends finish a marathon and thought to myself, “I can do that!”  He’s set two new goals for himself this year: launching an 18-week marathon training, and blogging all the way to the finish line.  Here’s his latest installment:

I get asked a lot of questions by people about vitamin supplementation.  One vitamin that has been a hot topic recently is vitamin D.

Vitamin D is available in some food and supplements, but most of what we need is produced within the body.  This production of vitamin D is triggered by ultraviolet  exposure to our skin through sunlight.  UV light triggers a series of chemical reactions, and eventually, vitamin D is produced.

There are 2 types of vitamin D that we need.  Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants and vitamin D3 is synthesized in our skin.  Foods can be enhanced with either D2 or D3 and both are essential for our health. The recommended daily amount to take is 600 IU but research has shown that athletes and active people can benefit from 1,000 to 10,000 IU daily.

Vitamin D is helpful in a lot of ways, but is most known for its role in bone health.  Vitamin D enhances the amount of calcium that can be absorbed in the intestines.  As most of us know, more calcium uptake gives you stronger bones.

Vitamin D has also been shown to help with our immune system and to decrease muscular soreness after we experience muscle damage.

vitaminDUnfortunately, a lot of people suffer from vitamin D deficiency.  If you are a person that has a history of stress fractures, bone pain, chronic injuries, or you care constantly getting sick, you might have a vitamin D deficiency.

If that describes you, supplemental vitamin D could be beneficial to your training.  Since it is winter and a lot of people are training indoors, it is important to take a supplemental vitamin because you are probably not getting the sun exposure you are used to.

I hope everyone has taken advantage of the mostly mild winter and is having a successful time training!

Don’t give up the sport — give up the pain! Visit the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute at 13 Wisconsin locations, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, browse our YouTube channel, or call our hotline at 1-800-219-7776.

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