Why Hockey Players Need More Vitamin D
Do you train indoors year round? Do you find yourself getting limited time outside during the day? If so, odds are that you don’t get enough vitamin D.
The same is true if you do not get outside for a minimum of 15 minutes during sun light per day. Inadequate sun exposure can increase your risk for vitamin D deficiency which can impair performance and health.Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is a fat soluble hormone that plays a vital role in bone health, muscle function and overall athletic performance. Vitamin D can be produced in the skin after exposure to sunlight and is essential for absorbing calcium and bone growth.
Hockey players spend the majority of their time training and competing indoors, which makes it challenging to get enough vitamin D through sun exposure. However, they are not alone; it is estimated that as much as 88% of the population receives less than the optimal amount of vitamin D, according to this study.
Several studies associate adequate vitamin D status to bone health and the prevention of bone injury in athletes. Studies also illustrate that inadequate levels of vitamin D are linked to higher stress fractures in young men and women. The good news is vitamin D can be obtained from a nutritious diet and athletes can get a boost with dairy! Click here to find out how you can increase vitamin D levels with dairy!
Just how important is vitamin D?
In the body, vitamin D is linked with:
- Immune function
- Normal blood pressure
- Muscle strength and mass
- Adequate calcium absorption
- Healthy weight management
- Overall bone and teeth health
Three servings of dairy is the daily recommendation, which can include milk, cheese and yogurt. In fact, milk is the number one food source of vitamin D in our diets. In addition to vitamin D, milk and other dairy foods provide other essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus (important for your teeth–many hockey players know that struggle!) and protein.