Athletes utilize supplements and a well-balanced diet focusing on their muscles to fuel their workouts and help them excel at their sport. But when it comes to nutrition, there’s an organ that tends to get overlooked: the eyes.
“Optimal sports performance coincides with optimal nutritional support for the visual system,” says Dr. Jeffrey Anshel, founder of the Ocular Nutrition Society, in the April 2020 issue of Optometric Management. “And while most coaches, trainers and athletes recognize the importance of nutrition in sports performance, the effect of nutrition on the eyes—and on visual skills that are important for sports performance—are often overlooked.”
Improving your ability to see the seam of a fast-moving baseball, line up a three-pointer, or spot a puck on the ice can help you gain an edge over opponents, but what nutrients do our eyes need to enhance visual acuity?
How Vision Helps You Perform
The connection between your eyes and athletic performance may be obvious, but you may be unaware of what elements help on the field. Here are three factors of your vision that athletes rely on the most.
Have you ever tried to catch a fly ball with the bright sun in your eyes? Baseball players need strong contrast sensitivity, the ability to distinguish between an object and its background, to make the big play. And researchers and eye care professionals state that testing for contrast sensitivity is a better measure of your visual acuity than the standard examination of reading letters off a chart.
Visual processing speed.
It can be tough to predict where a rebound will go once it leaves the backboard. Goalies must anticipate where a puck will land when a player makes a shot to keep it out of the net. But if your eyes can process images faster, you can react quicker and make better decisions as you play.
Sunlight and bright stadium lights can wear out your eyes. Look at how much a quarterback squints in the fourth quarter. Ocular fatigue factors into how well players perform late into a game, and the glare of the sunlight makes it difficult to judge small but vital details.
Eat Your Vegetables (and Fruits)
How can you feed the eyes to tolerate the stress of harsh sunlight exposure and improve contrast sensitivity, visual processing speed and glare recovery? By building up the macular pigment, the part of the retina responsible for central vision, these factors can be significantly improved.
The macular pigment is made up of three powerful and specific antioxidants, or carotenoids – Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin – and absorbs them through foods such as spinach, kale and carrots. But even athletes consume only one to two milligrams of these carotenoids daily in their diet, which isn’t enough to show improvement inside the eye.
To ensure the eyes receive the right amount of nutrients needed to support visual health, taking clinically proven supplements like Vision Edge Pro, which contains all three carotenoids, gives the eyes what they need to strengthen the macular pigment and improve visual performance.
What To Do Before Taking a Supplement
Before taking any supplement, it’s necessary to research it. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements, which means unless a formula has been clinically studied or has strong scientific or anecdotal evidence, it might not do what it claims.
When looking at the label, check if the supplement is third-party tested. Organizations such as NSF Certified for Sport put their seal on products they’ve inspected to confirm the ingredients inside match what’s on the label outside and don’t have any unsafe level of contaminants or other prohibited substances.
There is also a chance that a supplement could interact with any over-the-counter or prescription medications you’re already taking. Before starting any regimen, check with your doctor to ensure it’s safe for you, especially if you have any specific medical conditions or are pregnant. Vision Edge Pro doesn’t have any contraindications.
High-quality eye supplements like Vision Edge Pro are a safe way to receive the right amount of carotenoids you need to support your visual health. Dozens of clinical studies have found that supplements containing all three macular carotenoids increase macular pigment significantly and improve visual performance. Vision Edge Pro will give your eyes what they need to perform at their best.