Numerous studies have reported that athletes tend to be vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is essential for calcium metabolism and absorption and is important for muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth. Furthermore, it plays an essential role in regulating inflammation and immunity.
The latest research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences examined the effect of 14 weeks of vitamin D3 supplementation (5000 IU/day) on immunity against bacterial oral and respiratory infections in athletes. They found that 14 weeks of vitamin D3 supplementation during heavy winter training significantly elevated important antimicrobial peptides and proteins—which are essential immune system defenders against oral and respiratory infections.
ACTION POINT: Heavy training is associated with increased respiratory infection risk, especially in winter months. This latest study suggests that keeping your vitamin D levels topped up can provide immune system protection and improve resistance to respiratory infections— this means you can spend more time in the gym and less time sick in bed. In order to reap all of the benefits of this remarkable micronutrient, we suggest taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3 per day with breakfast.
Reference: He CS, Fraser WD, Tang J, Brown K, Renwick S, Rudland-Thomas J, Teah J, Tanqueray E, Gleeson M. The effect of 14 weeks of vitamin D3 supplementation on antimicrobial peptides and proteins in athletes. J Sports Sci. 2015 Apr 10:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]