Vitamin D produced in the skin by the action of the sun’s rays turns into calcitriol, a powerful hormone, recognized as important for health. Although its most known effects are on mineral homeostasis and bone metabolism, its receptors (VDRs) have been identified in almost all tissues, suggesting that it should have other actions. Vitamin D acts directly on the skeletal muscle system maintaining muscle mass, strength levels and speed of muscle contraction. Thereby, allied to that, vitamin D is among the potential factors that are related to maintaining bone, and cannot be dissociated from the prevention of osteoporosis and sarcopenia. However, in the physical performance aspect, there are still uncertainness in the literature about the use of vitamin D as an ergogenic resource aimed at improving the physical performance of amateur and professional athletes. Therefore, due to the biological actions of vitamin D and high prevalence of low levels in sedentary and physically active individuals, this chapter will discuss the facts pointed out in the literature about the action of vitamin D as an ergogenic resource aiming at the preservation or improvement of the physical, including strength muscular, aerobic capacity and balance.
Part of the book: Fads and Facts about Vitamin D