The Wall Street Journal just released an article about elite athletes turning to vitamin D supplementation after numerous studies show the benefits of vitamin D.
A 2015 study of the Pittsburgh Steelers published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in players with at least one bone fracture. Athletes who were released due to injury or poor performance also showed they had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared to those who made the team.
A 2011 study of the New York Giants presented at a meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine also found an association between low vitamin D levels and injuries. And more recently they launched a study to see whether the levels of vitamin D might be connected to soft-tissue injuries, such as muscle strains, as well.
Still there is more research needed to be done, but one thing is for sure that supplementation may help and there is no harm in doing so.
How much should you get?
Athletes are often recommended to get more vitamin D with some sports dietitians recommending 1,000-2,000 IU daily. Adults should not take in more than 4,000 IU through supplementation, according to the Institute of Medicine.
How can you get vitamin D?
Fish, eggs, fortified milk & yogurt, or the best = sun exposure. A 3oz sockeye salmon filet contains about 450 IU of vitamin D. Canned tuna has about 150 IU per 4oz. Fortified milk has 100 IU of vitamin D while yogurt contains 80 IU. One yolk from a chicken egg gives you about 40 IU. While 10 minutes in midday sun without a shirt or sunscreen can give you about 10,000 IU.
The best way, especially in a sunny place like Hawaii, is to take advantage of the sun and do at least one workout a week in the sun without a shirt on. Or... just go surf at least once a week.