College Athletes Are Not Getting Enough of This Vitamin

2 min read

College football athletes don’t get enough vitamin D, potentially leaving them prone to muscle injury, according to a new study presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting.

Researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York collected data from more than 200 players particpating in the NFL Combine, including their BMI, injury history and whether or not they had missed a game due to muscle strains. Then they performed a blood test to determine the players’ vitamin D levels.

It was found that nearly 60 percent of the athletes had abnormal vitamin D levels and 10 percent had a severe vitamin D deficiency. Of the 14 players who missed at least one game due to a strain injury, 86 percent of them had inadequate D levels.

The reason behind this, research suggests. is a lack of the vitamin can hinder your muscle strength and development. In fact, people who don’t get enough vitamin D are 77 percent weaker, according to a University of Tulsa study.

Plus, whether you’re an athlete or not, there’s a decent chance you’re not getting enough of the nutrient: about 42 percent of U.S. adults are vitamin D deficient, according to the journal Nutrition Research.

“Although our study looked at high performance athletes, it’s probably a good idea for anyone engaging in athletic activities to give some thought to vitamin D," said lead researcher Scott Rodeo, M.D. in a press release. “Indeed, adequate levels of vitamin D are important to maintain good muscle and bone health in people of all ages.”

The Endocrine Society recommends consuming 1,500 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day. Meet your quota by loading up on D-rich foods like fatty fish and fortified milk, which contains about 100 IU per cup, to increase your intake - or try a supplement.

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