Your eyes are obviously a very important part of your body. You need them to see clearly and go about your everyday life. For athletes, vision is an integral function of their passion, hobby, and/or career. It’s important to ensure that your vision stays in the best condition for as long as possible. Moreover, if you’re an athlete, strong vision can give you a competitive edge over your opponent. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or an amateur, the condition of your eyes impacts your game.
There are various vitamins that can be helpful for focus, depth perception, peripheral awareness, visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, and more. This article will focus on vitamins that can aid athletes in improving their sport through improved vision.
If you haven’t already, take a look at our list of 17 vitamins, herbs and minerals that can help with your vision. All 17 items in this list have been carefully researched and tested for safety and effectiveness. This is to ensure your eyes are getting all the natural help they need to stay in the best form possible.
Vitamins A, C, and E
As you get older, your vision will no doubt deteriorate. This is a fact of life and something that we can’t stop, although we can prolong the process. The natural decline of your vision from age is called presbyopia. However, a scarier and more serious form of deterioration is called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It has been scientifically proven that vitamins A, C and E can help ward off the effects of AMD.
It isn’t just older people that can benefit from taking vitamins to keep their eyes in check. Athletes and sports players can also benefit from taking these supplements. It has been proven that the right amount of vitamins A, C, and E can help with visual acuity. Acuity is your ability to distinguish objects and focus on them quickly. In turn, this is vitally important for sports players.
Basically, the antioxidant properties of these vitamins can really help preserve the cells and tissues in your eyes. You might have heard people say that carrots are good for the vision. This old saying is actually quite true. And the reason for this is the high levels of vitamin A that can be found in carrots.
Inside your retina, the rhodopsin molecule contains vitamin A which is used to help send messages to your brain. The more that these molecules are used the more vitamin A is used. As you can see, the need to replenish this vitamin A is vital to your eyesight.
Vitamin C is equally as important for eye health. In your eye, between the iris and the cornea, there is a fluid known as the aqueous humor. This fluid protects both the cornea and lens and helps to prevent blurring in the vision. This fluid contains a high level of vitamin C. For a sports player, blurry vision can be disastrous. Therefore, maintaining high levels of vitamin C in your diet can really help to keep your eyes in good working order.
Finally, Vitamin E works to reduce oxidation in the tissues and cells in your eyes. It protects the cells from the breakdown which damages healthy tissues. This can really help to reduce the speed at which your eyes degenerate. And, it can also help to reduce the possibility of developing cataracts.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Just like vitamins A, C, and E, lutein and zeaxanthin are also very powerful antioxidants. They are found in very high levels in many parts of the eye including the macula, retina, and lens. There have been numerous studies on lutein and zeaxanthin; most have concluded that they help the eyes with glare and dim light.
Moreover, they have also been found to slow down the degeneration of the eyes. If you plan on having a sports career for many decades, degeneration is a big concern.
Undoubtedly, good eyesight is vital for all athletes and you will want to keep your eyes in the best condition possible. If you play sports and you are getting older, taking supplements to maintain vision becomes even more important.
Due to the importance of both lutein and zeaxanthin, specialists are now testing the levels of both in eye tissues. The test is known as macular pigment optical density. Keeping the levels of lutein and zeaxanthin high in your body is important for maintaining good eyesight when playing sports.
These nutrients can also help to filter blue light and reduce contrast sensitivity. Therefore, it will be much easier to see the soccer ball against the sky or even a golf ball in the green. If you’re playing a game of pick-up basketball at night, you’ll have better low-light vision.
How Vitamins Help Athletes’ Vision
Whether you are kicking a football, stopping pucks, or shooting three-pointers, you need the best eyesight possible. That’s if you want to stay at the top of your game. The enhanced macular pigment you get from vitamins will really help you to increase your ability to differentiate between colors. Meaning, you’ll be able to see a moving object easier and distinguish between the movement around you. That includes your own team members, a ball, targets, and any background colors. This will definitely give you the competitive edge that you are looking for as an athlete.
Moreover, getting the right doses of vitamins will really benefit your eyes. The vitamins outlined above can help with blurry vision, tissue regeneration, and general eye health. Your vision will be sharper and you’ll have better depth perception. You’ll notice an increase in your peripheral awareness, visual acuity, and hand-eye coordination. These functions will all improve if you get the right doses of vitamins in your diet.
As an athlete, you likely already focus on eating healthy. If you’re concerned you aren’t getting all the eye-health nutrients you need, take a supplement. Your future vision and team members will thank you.