E. Lueck, A. Olson PhD, RD, M. Campos
College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN

Winter indoor athletes have a greater risk of low serum vitamin D concentrations. Low serum vitamin D levels are associated with impaired muscle function and recovery and greater risk of muscle injury. Purpose: To determine if there is a correlation between serum vitamin D levels and muscle recovery in Division II and III Collegiate Basketball Players. Methods: healthy varsity basketball players (26 male/30 female) were tested during the first week of January. Approval was obtained by the Institutional Review Boards of two colleges and one university. The athletes signed an informed consent. Blood samples were taken via finger stick to analyze serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D) concentrations using an ELISA assay. Participants completed a questionnaire about their supplement use, intake of vitamin D food sources, and tanning. Muscle recovery was assessed by two performance tests, the ability to maintain sprint speed (3 x 20-meter sprints) and jump height (3 x vertical jumps). Results: The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D) concentration was 68 +37 nmol/L. Most participants (54%) were vitamin D insufficient (defined as 35-75 nmol/L), 37% vitamin D sufficient (defined as >75 nmol/L), and 9% were vitamin D deficient (defined as <35 nmol/L). The players with sufficient vitamin D levels either tanned once a week, consumed an extreme amount of fatty fish or fortified milk, or took a daily vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D sufficient subjects had a trend towards faster sprint times compared to vitamin D insufficient subjects; however, the difference was not statistically significant (Males, p=0.278), (Females, p=0.157). Serum vitamin D negatively correlated with jump heights (p=0.001). Conclusion: Inadequate levels of Vitamin D were identified in 63% of division II and III collegiate basketball players. Individuals’ serum vitamin D levels did not correlate with faster sprint times or higher jump heights in this study. The 20-meter sprints and vertical jumps, while appropriate for basketball players, were perhaps not intense enough to measure changes in muscle recovery. Only 7% of the players had optimal serum D levels [>120 nmol/L] which restricts the range of values. Vitamin D supplementation may be the best solution to achieve optimal serum D levels.

NACSM Professional Sponsor: Amy Olson

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