Vitamin K2: Why is it a BIG DEAL for Keto Athletes?
Did you know that Vitamin K2 is an important vitamin for endurance athletes? This is because it plays a role in insulin, hormones, and bone density.
Vitamin K and Strong Bones
Bone density is a concern for many athletes because it would ruin your training and racing plans. Vitamin K2 does some amazing things for bone density. It activates proteins that direct calcium. This ensures the calcium goes where it belongs, into the teeth and bones.
You might think taking additional calcium supplements would be a good idea. Unfortunately, without enough vitamin K2, the calcium supplement may end up in the wrong place.
Without the proteins activated by the K2, the calcium takes the path of least resistance. Consequently, this means calcium can end up in soft tissue like our veins and arteries. As a result, this is probably not the result most of us are looking for. Calcification of the arteries is almost always a bad thing for healthy hearts.
Vitamin K2 helps you make insulin and remain very sensitive to insulin. This is very important for keto-adapted athletes. This is because it allows the body to stabilize blood sugar levels. It is especially relevant for metabolic flexibility for a keto athlete who is using carbohydrates for fuel during training and racing.
Vitamin K2 promotes testosterone regulation because it optimizes your sex hormones. It increases testosterone in men and normalizes testosterone in women. It improves exercise performance by enhancing your ability to utilize energy during training.
Foods high in Vitamin K2:
- Hard cheese
- Soft cheese
- Egg yolk
- Chicken liver
- Fermented Foods
Converting Vitamin K1 to K2?
Leafy green vegetables contain a large amount of Vitamin K. It seems like you would be able to get enough Vitamin K from the vegetables.
The Vitamin K is in the K1 form. Many people believe that you can convert enough beneficial Vitamin K2 from the K1 form. The process of conversion is very inefficient therefore only a miniscule amount of Vitamin K1 converted to K2.
Gut Bacteria and Vitamin
It was once believed that intestinal bacteria contribute to vitamin K status because of the Vitamin K2 made by bacteria in the gut. That seems like it would be a great benefit, yet the evidence contradicts this. Rather than the Vitamin K2 being available, it is embedded within bacterial membranes. As a result, almost none of the K2 is available for absorption.
In conclusion, I hope this article has made you aware of the importance of Vitamin K2. While making your breakfast make sure you eat your yokes. Because that is where you will find the K2!:)