The role of vitamin D in enhancing performance has been a subject of interest, but the current evidence is insufficient to directly claim that it improves performance, according to the comprehensive vitamin D supplementation guide. One reason for this limitation is the lack of well-controlled and adequately large studies. However, recent research sheds light on this matter through two studies conducted by Professor Neil Walsh's team at Bangor University in Wales.
Study 1 - Correlation between Performance and Vitamin D
Study 1 examined 967 participants, both men and women, who completed a 1.5-mile run and underwent assessments for maximum dynamic lift and explosive power. The study found a significant correlation between vitamin D status and endurance performance during winter, with vitamin D accounting for about 5% of the variation in performance. However, there were no notable correlations between vitamin D status and maximum dynamic lift or explosive power.
Study 2 - Impact of Supplementation on Performance
Study 2 involved 137 men receiving either simulated sunlight or vitamin D3 supplements, while another group received placebo supplements or placebo simulated light. Both treatments achieved vitamin D sufficiency in 97% of the participants. Surprisingly, supplementation did not have a noticeable effect on performance. The authors suggest that the 12-week supplementation duration might not have been sufficient to observe significant performance improvements.
Limitations and Causality
The authors acknowledge certain limitations in their studies, making it challenging to determine causality in the identified correlations. They propose that supplementation should begin before winter to prevent deficiencies, rather than attempting to remedy a pre-existing deficiency during winter.
As a practical recommendation, the authors propose that supplementation should begin before the onset of the winter season to prevent deficiencies, rather than attempting to remedy a pre-existing deficiency during the winter.
In conclusion, while the connection between vitamin D and performance is of interest, more research is needed to establish a definitive link between the two.
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