Why Vitamin D?

Vitamin D and Football Injuries

Vitamin D is known for its ties to muscle function and muscle performance. So of course it was an obvious choice for athletes to need. A new study has found that football (professional or non) players with lower levels in their diet were more likely to have an injury. In a small study of a single NFL team, researchers included vitamin D levels as part of the pre-season evaluation in 2010. Only 1/5 of the players had normal blood levels and 80% of the football team had blood levels below normal range. 30% had dangerously low levels. And African American players had lower average blood levels than Caucasian players. During the season the players who sustained muscle injuries were more likely to have lower levels. The mean of the 16 players who suffered a muscle injury the had a very low level of 20 ng/ml (normal is defined as 32 ng/ml).

Although muscle function and vitamin D were once thought to only be important in older persons, similar findings are being reported in all groups and now even elite professional athletes. Nutritionists often debate over the optimum level needed but most commonly recommended level is about 30 ng/ml. Current estimates state that Americans have a sub-optimal level of vitamin D.