Vitamin D in the NFL

Low levels of vitamin D cause muscles to atrophy and impair the ability to contract properly. In this study during the 2015 National Football League season, doctors studied 214 skilled position athletes, 78 percent of whom were African American. Vitamin D levels in the African American players averaged 29.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) compared to white players at 34.0 ng/mL.

During the season, 11 of the 13 players that missed a game due to injury had low vitamin D levels. Players with vitamin D levels below 32 ng/mL were 86 percent more likely than players with at least 32 ng/mL to have a lower  extremity strain or core muscle injury, and were also three times as likely to pull a hamstring muscle.

Doctors said regularly screening levels and supplementing with vitamin D could help prevent injury not only in professional athletes, but in the general population, 40 percent of which may be deficient in vitamin D.

Whey protein speeds recovery

During high-intensity exercise, the brain competes with the body for oxygen, reducing performance. In this study, 15 Division I collegiate basketball players consumed whey protein as 36 percent of total calories or 12 percent of total calories, in a carbohydrate-based drink right after a one-hour intense cycling challenge.

After resting for two hours, they repeated the exercise at a slightly higher intensity until exhausted. Those in the high-protein group had better brain oxygenation and less demand for blood to the brain, and cycled 16 percent longer than those in the low-protein group.

Reference: Arthroscopy Journal; April, 2018, Vol. 34, 1280-5
Natural Insights for Well Being August 2018

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