Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which helps support bone health, muscle function, cell growth and immunity.
Vitamin D is obtained in three ways:
1. Consuming vitamin D-containing foods
2. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light
3. Ingestion of supplemental vitamin D
Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency in Athletes:
Importance of Vitamin D on Performance
Assessment of Vitamin D Status:
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency in Athletes:
How Much Daily Vitamin D is Enough
Institute of Medicine Recommends for individuals 14-50 years old = 600 IU/day
Dietary sources of vitamin D are important to support vitamin D status; however, it is
challenging to meet daily needs with dietary sources alone. Dietary needs are much higher to restore status if blood levels are low.
Keep in mind, dietary supplementation, recommended by a health professional, may
be necessary in addition to food sources to improve status.
Sun exposure can be an important contributing source to build vitamin D stores. On average, the skin can synthesize about 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D in less than 30 minutes of exposure.
The amount of vitamin D synthesized from sun exposure depends on the individual. Furthermore, these factors decrease an athlete’s ability to synthesize vitamin D as effectively:
Simple Ways to Improve Vitamin D Status - Include vitamin D-rich fish in 2-3 meals per week
Vitamin D Food Sources
Source: USOC Sports Nutrition
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