Vitamin D deficiency is common. Fewer people are getting outdoors, and those who are vitamin D deficient will get even less during winter months. As you know by now, this has numerous health implications. But new research by Jung et al. found that vitamin D status can influence performance as well.
The researchers used 35 collegiate Taekwondo athletes with a low serum vitamin D concentration and randomly assigned them to two groups:
- One group of 20 people received 5000 IU of vitamin D per day for four weeks.
- The other group of 15 people received a placebo for four weeks.
After four winter weeks, serum vitamin D concentrations increased significantly in the vitamin D group with no change in the placebo group. The results? The vitamin D group produced greater power and muscular strength. The placebo group saw no change.
How to Use This Research
First, get a blood test to see if you're vitamin D deficient. Some health professionals even encourage people take it year round... without any testing beforehand.
But if it's winter or you live in an area that stays overcast and rainy most of the year, or you spend most of your time indoors, there's a higher likelihood you're deficient. Then find a dose that will raise your blood concentration levels. In the current study, 5,000 IU did the trick.
We already knew getting sufficient vitamin-D could make you healthier and less susceptible to illness. And now there's evidence it can make you stronger and more powerful too.
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- Jung, H. C., Seo, M. W., Lee, S., Jung, S. W., & Song, J. K. (2018). Correcting vitamin D deficiency improves some, but not all aspects of physical performance during winter training in Taekwondo athletes. International Journal of Sports Nutrition Exercise Metabolism, 3. 1-25.