Sporty types are inherently more healthy – they eat right, exercise and get lots of fresh air and sunshine, especially sporty types who get paid. Well in theory they’re more healthy than couch potatoes.
But the jocks running around on the NFL football fields are not as healthy as you would expect.
Lining up vitamin D insufficient
Research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Conference in 2011 gave NFL players a poor vitamin D score card, pre-season.
89 players lined up for a vitamin D test at the start of the season. 80 % of these players were found to be vitamin D insufficient i.e. they had levels <32 ng/mL. Depends who you’re talking too but generally a value above 40 ng/mL is considered “sufficient”.
Low vitamin D associated with injury
Being low on vitamin D is common, so this finding is not such a big surprise.
The “surprise” finding was that the guys who had been benched because they had suffered muscle injuries, consistently came in on the lower side of vitamin D. They averaged levels of 19.9 ng/mL.
Low vitamin D muscles taking strain
This study suggests that vitamin D status, can impact on how well muscles stand up to the stresses and strains of performing on the sports field.
When levels are low, muscles seem to end up being a little more vulnerable.
Muscle injuries hurt
Suffering a muscle injury can be very pricey.
The physical pain can induce wimpering and whining for several days, along with pain killers and trips to the physio. Being benched from the team can be rough on the ego too.
And for the professional athlete, a severe injury can ultimately cost them their sporting career and truck loads of money.
Fixing vitamin D levels won’t guarantee an injury free season, but getting the levels “right” won’t do any harm, and might end up doing a lot of good.
Don’t assume you’re getting enough sun
Sport types often assume they get enough sun since they spend a lot of time outdoors.
But you may not be getting enough because …..
- you’ve been trained to protect yourself from the sun by layering up, with cream, or covering up, with clothes
- you usually practise in the cool of the day, when UV-B levels are at their lowest
- you typically shower immediately after a work out and end up washing away your freshly minted vitamin D.
- you may just need a little more because of your genes, geography or physical condition(s)
Warm up with vitamin D
Start your season with a vitamin D check-up.
If you’re running a little low, then get your muscles warmed up for the season.
Fixing vitamin D levels is really easy. Sun tan or take a vitamin D supplement (D3).Vitamin D Lower In NFL Football Players Who Suffered Muscled Injuries, Study Reports press release from he American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
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