If you’re feeling a bit guilty as you glug down another beer on a sun lounger this summer, then don’t – it might improve your performances on the pitch.
No, not the beer. Sorry. But research does suggest a healthy dose of sunshine every day could boost your performance.
A study of 67 Greek footballers found that players with higher vitamin D levels performed better in sprint, vertical jump and endurance tests than those with lower levels.
Alex Ferguson even introduced vitamin D booths at Manchester United to give his players an edge – and look how things worked out for sun-worshipper CR7.
Time to throw the sun cream in the bin, then? Not quite. A daily supplement is a good option to avoid sunburn and boost your levels during the winter, although just 20 minutes of sunshine per day is enough to boost your intake.
“Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, which strengthens bones and improves muscle function,” says Professor Adrian Martineau, an expert on the nutrient. “If you have low levels then you will have weaknesses in your major muscle groups, which affects your ability to walk, run and stand from a squat position.”
So get to the beach – but don’t come back looking like a lobster.
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