Why It Pays to Supplement with Vitamin K

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There are plenty of essential vitamins and minerals out there that you never need to supplement with.

As I tell the people in my Marc Dressen online fitness trainer sessions, the truth is that you’ll get most of the nutrition that you need out of your diet anyway – unless you’re avoiding a certain food, in which case you might need to seek out the insight of a dietician.

However, while you’ll come across most of the vitamins and minerals that you need naturally, there’s a chance that you’ll still miss out on a couple that could improve your health and enhances your potential to craft some serious muscle.

For instance, Vitamin D is a substance that many people should be supplementing to get their full recommended daily allowance, and vitamin K could be another one to add to your list.

Here’s the thing…

Vitamin K is very similar to vitamin D in the benefits that it has on your body. It can prevent disease, help you to feel better on a day to day basis, and more. While true deficiency is rare in vitamin K, most people will fall shy of the “optimum intake” level for this substance.

So, should you be supplementing with vitamin K? Let’s find out.

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K, otherwise known as phylloquinone is a vitamin that’s crucial to the human diet.

If you don’t consume enough of this substance, you could struggle with problems with coagulation and bleeding.

Vitamin K works by supporting a group of dependent proteins. In other words, it supports proteins that couldn’t perform their functions with its presence. With sufficient vitamin K in your body, those proteins can carry out their activities as they should. However, if you’re deficient in vitamin K, then you might struggle with things like:

  • Clotting: Vitamin K supports prothrombin and clotting proteins.
  • Soft tissue calcification: Vitamin K supports Osteocalcin, which reduces soft tissue calcification and prevents your arteries from hardening.
  • Bone growth: Vitamin K also helps out with the Matrix GLA protein, which supports bone development.

What are the Biggest Benefits of Vitamin K?

Vitamin K has a big role to play in your health, but how does it affect your workout and diet routine? The simple answer is that vitamin K assists with:

  • Cardiovascular function (heart health)
  • Bone health
  • Exercise capacity

To help you understand why you should be supplementing with vitamin K, let’s look at each of these benefits in greater detail.

How Vitamin K Helps with Cardiovascular Function

The biggest benefit of vitamin K is enhanced functioning in the cardiovascular system. In some cases, calcium can begin to gather on your blood vessels, causing them to harden and making it more difficult for you to get the adequate blood flow that you need. When this happens, you’re likely to experience a problem with your cardiovascular health. Fortunately, vitamin K can reduce this process, eliminating one of the biggest risk factors for premature death in the world.

MPG is the vitamin K protein that helps to remove calcium and other problematic substances from your arteries. When you supplement with vitamin K, you increase the activity of MGP, which is also thought to be why it’s so important to use vitamin K for long-term health support. We still need a little more research into the potential of vitamin K to support cardio health, but so far, it’s safe to say that this substance could be incredibly valuable to your heart.

How Vitamin K Helps with Bone Health

Vitamin K works very well alongside vitamin D when it comes to improving and maintaining good bone health. The diverging roles of the two vitamins are very useful in this case. Through osteocalcin, vitamin K can help bones mature, which means that the minerals become denser, and your bones are less likely to break. On the other hand, vitamin D supports bone growth.

Since vitamin K is crucial for strengthening bone, according to human studies into the substance, it becomes particularly crucial for supplementation in older people who might be more prone to breakages and fractures caused by falls. Even if your bones won’t necessarily grow if you start using vitamin K supplementation, they should become a lot stronger, and this will be important for your health and independence in the long term.

How Vitamin K Supports Exercise

Finally, most people look into supplementation because they want to achieve their exercise goals faster. Because of this, it’s essential to know how vitamin K might be able to support your workout routine. Studies have found that taking a certain amount of vitamin K – usually around 300mg for four weeks, can improve your cardiac output by as much as 12%.

While this doesn’t sound like much at first, what this study really suggests is that vitamin K makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around the body. When your heart can work faster, it also means that you can get oxygen and other minerals to your muscles at a quicker speed, so that you can increase your workout potential.

More research is necessary to see how vitamin K can enhance your workout performance. However, it seems likely that a substance which can improve your cardio output will come in handy when you want to get more time in at the gym.

Finishing Thoughts on Vitamin K Supplementation

Ultimately, while the demand for vitamin K might not be as widespread as the demand for vitamin D, it’s safe to say that this substance has a lot to offer to your workout routine. If vitamin K truly can improve your heart health, make it easier for you to workout at greater intensities, and protect your bones, it could enhance your exercise strategies significantly.

If you’re looking for a way to accelerate your results in the gym, and get more out of your workouts every day, then a vitamin K supplement could be a great addition to your diet, although it won’t necessarily work for everyone.

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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