Vitamin D and Athletic Performance Essay

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Good nutrition and its role in positively affecting athletic performance has become more and more evident almost daily. Specific macro and micronutrients are better understood as to their specific functions within the body and from that how they can influence the body’s ability to perform while under duress. An example of such would be the stress of athletic performance. Vitamin D, which is also referred to as cholecalciferol, is one of the fat soluble vitamins that have been attributed to influencing athletic performance. However, vitamin D is not as much a “performance enhancing” nutrient in the sense that when taken in higher amounts it will aid athletic performance, but rather when in deficient amounts it can hinder athletic …show more content…
Many factors influence how much sunlight exposure individuals receive and thus impact the amount of Vitamin D that the body can synthesize. Latitude, season of the year, time of day, sunblock, melanin content of the skin, age, and clothing are a few of these factors. Cannell and associates describes that individuals who train and/or compete above the 35 degree latitude marker, which is half of the United States and all of Canada and Europe, do not receive enough sun exposure to synthesize enough Vitamin D, especially during the fall and winter seasons 2. Others who are at risk are those who engage in indoor sports or train primarily indoors, such as gymnasts, indoor track and field athletes, basketball players, and wrestlers to name a few. There is also a surprisingly high amount of Vitamin D deficiency described in Miami, Florida because of the extensive use of sunblock 3.
Vitamin D Deficiency The definition of Vitamin D deficiency is changed almost yearly, as the laboratory levels which determine what is an adequate or inadequate level of vitamin D in the blood serum are changing as well 2, 4. Recent research studies have determined that ideal levels of vitamin D are at or above 50 ng·mL-1 from 30 ng·mL-1, which was previously thought to be adequate levels within the blood. This is problematic for several reasons, but one of the most critical reasons is that the number of diseases caused at least in part by vitamin D are on the rise and
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