Vitamin K: What runners should know about Vitamin K
Vitamin K is best obtained from green, leafy vegetables. Eating a diet with vegetables should provide sufficient amount of Vitamin K.
FUNCTION IN THE BODY:
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting or coagulation. (It's called Vitamin K after the the Danish word for coagulation, which begins with a "K").
HOW IT WORKS:
Vitamin K enables glumatic acid - an amino acid - to bond with calcium ions in the bloodsteam to create permanent blood clotting.
When there is bleeding from a cut in the skin, the body works to stop the bleeding, repair the blood vessel, and then close the skin.
First, platelets in the blood when exposed to air become "sticky" and attract red blood cells to form a temporary plug to stop bleeding at the source of the cut. Next, Vitamin K enables a fibrous net to develop over this plug to strengthen the stoppage and repair the broken blood vessels.
This fibrous net is created from calcium in the blood stream. In general, there are 3 pounds of calcium in the human body --- 99% of which is located in bones. However, the remaining 1% is in the bloodstream. When exposed to air, glumatic acid (an amino acid) reacts with Vitamin K to create an activated, negatively charged ion that bonds with a positively charged calcium ion in the bloodstream. This new molecule forms the basis for the fibrous netting in blood clots.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR RUNNERS:
Vitamin K, in the list of supplements to consider as a runner, would rank towards the low end. The exception would be if you have been diagnosed with blood clotting issues and have consulted with your physician. For most runners, a diet with green vegetable intake should provide sufficient Vitamin K.
Best wishes chasing your running goals!
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