Compromised Vitamin D Status Negatively Affects Muscular Strength and Power of Collegiate Athletes

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2016 Dec;26(6):558-564. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2016-0052. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Abstract

Increasing evidence indicates that compromised vitamin D status, as indicated by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D), is associated with decreased muscle function. The purpose of this study was to determine the vitamin D status of collegiate athletes residing in the southern U.S. and its effects on muscular strength and anaerobic power. Collegiate athletes (n = 103) from three separate NCAA athletic programs were recruited for the study. Anthropometrics, vitamin D and calcium intake, and sun exposure data were collected along with serum 25-OH D and physical performance measures (Vertical Jump Test, Shuttle Run Test, Triple Hop for Distance Test and the 1 Repetition Maximum Squat Test) to determine the influence of vitamin D status on muscular strength and anaerobic power. Approximately 68% of the study participants were vitamin D adequate (>75 nmol/L), whereas 23% were insufficient (75-50 nmol/L) and 9%, predominantly non-Caucasian athletes, were deficient (<50 nmol/L). Athletes who had lower vitamin D status had reduced performance scores (p < .01) with odds ratios of 0.85 on the Vertical Jump Test, 0.82 on the Shuttle Run Test, 0.28 on the Triple Hop for Distance Test, and 0.23 on the 1 RM Squat Test. These findings demonstrate that even NCAA athletes living in the southern US are at risk for vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency and that maintaining adequate vitamin D status may be important for these athletes to optimize their muscular strength and power.

Keywords: 25-OH D status; athletic performance; muscle strength and power.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Performance
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Sunlight
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Vitamin D