Jan 27, 2016
Impact of Vitamin D

Spending some time outside in the sun may seem like an odd recommendation for a hockey team, but that’s just what the sports dietitian ordered for the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are among many squads that are focusing on vitamin D levels–thus prompting the team’s sports dietician to suggest players spend time outside when they go to California for games.

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, monitoring vitamin D levels in elite athletes has become more prevalent thanks to research indicating that a deficiency may be related to an increased risk of injury. There have only been a handful of studies focusing on elite athletes, but the collective results indicate a possible relationship between muscle and bone injuries and vitamin D deficiency.

“You can’t draw a definitive conclusion,” Pittsburgh Steelers team physician, and co-author on a study on the Pittsburgh Steelers and vitamin D levels, Mark Duca told the Wall Street Journal. “But it certainly piques our interest, particularly in a violent contact sport like football.”

Along with spending time in the sun to allow their bodies to produce Vitamin D, athletes can get the nutrient through fish and eggs, fortified foods such as milk and some cereals, and supplements. Sports dieticians say athletes should get at least 1,000 to 2,000 international units of vitamin D daily, whether it’s through their food or supplements.

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