Bone Density and Athletic Performance

Bone density refers to the measure of minerals, like calcium and phosphorous, in a standard volume of bone. It defines the strength of the bones.

Athletes play and participate in sports all year round. There are tremendous benefits to both physical and mental health. A lot of factors also affect athletic performance. Likewise, the density of bones also has certain effects on athletic performance.

What is Bone Density and how is it measured?

In layman’s terms, it is the density of minerals in your bone. The minerals include phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and A. The Bone Density Mineral (BDM) is, however, measured in terms of optical density per square centimeter.

The density helps us to know the risk of osteoporosis by the process of densitometry. Usually, measured areas are the lumbar spine and the upper parts of the hip. The results are usually measured by T-score and Z-score. Negative scores indicate lower BDM and positive scores indicate higher BDM.

Also Read: Which exercises increase bone health?

How does Bone Density affect athletic performance?

Bone density plays an important role in an athlete’s performance. Lower density makes it difficult to carry on sports activities like run, jump, and cycle.

Athletes and players with lower bone density also have high chances of fractures, injuries, and osteoporosis. According to a 2016 study, bone health has a direct impact on athletic performance. Often, in the female triad, bone health is compromised and can lead to bone stress injuries and osteoporosis.

Sometimes, the type of sports also has an effect on bone density and performance. The gymnasts have a higher density as compared to cyclists. This is because the athletes put different weights on their bones. A gymnast usually put a lot of his weight while jumping, on the other hand, cyclists and swimmer, sit and float respectively.


Talking about the measures to enhance bone density, there is plenty of it.

1. Exercise is a priority. Exercising daily is a step towards better bone health. One can also try weight and resistance training.

2. Calcium. Calcium is known to increase the strength of bones. Therefore, boosting your calcium intake both naturally and artificially can help.

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3. Nutrition. Focus more on green vegetables and nutritious food. Eat vitamin and mineral-rich food items. Also, focus on proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Avoid unhealthy weight. Avoid putting unhealthy weight. This can increase the pressure on your bones and make them weak and fragile.

These are the few solutions to enhance bone health . Also, consult a medical expert to know more about it and how to boost your performance.


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