20 August 2021

Abertay study finds Vitamin D and milk gives athletes boost

Abertay study finds Vitamin D and milk gives athletes boost

The image shows a box of vitamin D supplements surrounded by pills and capsules.

A new study from Abertay University has found a weekly vitamin D supplement consumed with whole milk can boost athlete’s performance.

Combat athletes who took part in the research were given a once weekly dose of 1.25mg of Vitamin D, along with some milk with a high fat content* showed an 11% increase in endurance which was associated with a longer time until fatigue occurred.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble and requires other factors such as magnesium to be effective.  By using milk with a high fat content, the study provided participants with the required levels of fat and magnesium to aid absorption and activation of the vitamin.

The addition of extra vitamin D above the lowest dose used(1.25mg)provided no additional benefit to participants.

Vitamin D has long been seen as important to bone health but has also been investigated for sports performance due to its potential impact on muscle.

In contrast to previous studies, the Abertay research had participants specifically take their vitamin D with a glass of milk with a high fat content.

The research found the increased absorption of vitamin D meant that athletes were better equipped to deal with the demands of their sport due to the increase in their baseline fitness.

It also found athletes could increase their training time without the increased risk of injury from too much training due to the improvements to their baseline fitness.

Although the research was based on combat athletes the research findings are potentially transferable to a wider group of athletes, as well as potentially to the members of the population looking to improve their stamina.

Dr John Babraj Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Abertay said: “This research has shown the positive impact vitamin D supplementation can have on athlete performance when consumed with fats to increase absorption in the body.

“We hope more athletes will consider supplementing with vitamin D to increase their endurance allowing them to achieve their professional goals. Or if they are already supplementing then they consider how they are taking the supplement to maximise the benefits of vitamin D supplementation”


*Athletes were given their dose of Vitamin D with a 125ml glass of Graham’ Gold Top Jersey milk.

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