Vitamin D and Sport Performance - More than just for Bones! - Rider and Parent Resources.

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Vitamin D and Sport Performance - More than just for Bones!

HCBC Staff
Created: March 16, 2018

Written by Angela Dufour, MEd, RD, CSSD, IOC Dip Sports Nutr, CFE Performance Dietitian for the 2018 Winter Olympics

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Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is derived from cholesterol and stored in fat. Vitamin D is well known to help us absorb calcium from the gut to promote bone development and growth. But more recent research indicates it has so many more functions for maintaining health and optimizing training and performance in athletes. It is now thought that athletes who have adequate (or higher) intakes and levels of vitamin D might increase skeletal muscle function; (mass, strength and endurance), decrease recovery time from training, increase both force and power production and improve immune function, each of which could enhance athletic performance. (1, 2). Vitamin D in its active form also acts like a steroid hormone, interacting with over 1000 genes throughout the body, serving nerve signaling and blood pressure.

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