Vitamin D and Calcium in Sports Performance
February 23, 2018
Long hours of training can be very demanding on your muscles, bones and overall energy levels – making it particularly important for those doing high impact, high endurance activities to ensure they monitor their levels of vitamin D and calcium.
As the properties of vitamin D and calcium are becoming better understood, we’ve noticed an increased demand for our products from athletes and sports teams. With that in mind, we’ve broken down just some of the ways in which vitamin D3 and calcium may be linked to athletic performance.
Everyone knows that calcium is needed for strong bones – which are particularly important for participants of high impact sports – but calcium has lots of other, lesser-known health benefits.
For example, according to the EFSA, Calcium contributes to normal neurotransmission. Neurotransmission – the sharing of messages between brain cells – has a role in the way we learn, behave, move and feel.
Calcium contributes to normal muscle function and helps certain enzymes in your body function normally, which digest the food you eat and absorb other important minerals and vitamins you need.
This essential mineral also contributes to normal metabolism, which in turn impacts your energy levels – you can’t excel in your chosen sport if you’re feeling lethargic.
For more information, visit our page on Calcium benefits.
The many benefits of vitamin D3 are slowly becoming more well known, and its involvement in most of the body’s vital processes is now being recognised.
As with calcium, vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function – muscle contraction and repair. In fact, vitamin D supplements are sometimes offered to reduce the risk of falling for those affected by postural instability and muscle weakness among those 60 years of age and older*.
Vitamin D contributes to the normal absorption and utilisation of calcium, and helps to ensure normal calcium levels in the blood. Almost 99% of your vitamin D supply is used for regulating calcium in the body, with the remaining part utilised for strengthening the immune system and maintaining muscle strength.
Supplements & Athletics
Long hours of training can be very demanding on your muscles, bones and overall energy levels – making it particularly important for those doing high impact, high endurance activities to ensure they monitor their levels of vitamin D and calcium. As we get some of our vitamin D from sunlight, those who have to spend a lot of time training indoors may be at higher risk of not getting enough. Blood test kits are an efficient way to determine your vitamin D levels.
Supplements and Safety
With so many supplements to choose from, how do you know which are safest to take?
Look for products approved by quality assurance programmes such as Informed Choice and Informed Sports. Products bearing the Informed Choice or Informed Sports logos will have undergone an extensive procedure carried out by the anti-doping laboratory LGC Sport and Specialised analytical service to ensure that it is free from a wide range of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
*This beneficial effect is only obtained with a daily intake of at least 800IU of vitamin D.