The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in athletes is concerning due to the potential negative effects
on physical performance. The concept that vitamin D status positively correlates with measures of muscular
strength and cardiorespiratory fitness is receiving increased interest among a wide range of athletes. We
reviewed published studies that examined the association of vitamin D status with, and the effect of vitamin D
supplementation on measures of athletic performance. An increased vitamin D status was associated with improved
athletic performance in only one observational study. Several intervention studies demonstrated that
the improvement in muscular strength occurs when athletes with low vitamin D status are restored to vitamin
D sufficient status. Further research in various athletic populations is needed to establish the role of vitamin D
in athletic performance and optimal vitamin D status in athletes.
Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D, athletic performance, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength,
physical performance, vitamin D, vitamin D deficiency.
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