Super “D”

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Super “D”

By Karlyn Grimes, MS RD LDN CSSD
Retained Medical Adviser

Sleep, train, eat, work, repeat…. You follow a rigorous schedule making it critical to support each and every body part so you are game day after day, week after week… and you know the rest. Vitamin D, once primarily known for its intimate relationship with calcium to promote bone health, is now seen as a multitasking, super vitamin with many hypothesized benefits. Actually, vitamin D is more than just a vitamin – it is a neuroregulatory steroid hormone that influences thousands of genes, and researchers have identified receptors all over the body. Investigators are currently scrambling to shed light on vitamin D’s multitasking functions, especially since many Americans have suboptimal vitamin D levels. Let’s take a look at what we know now. Hint: Vitamin D may be an athletes best friend so don’t forget your daily dose of Klean-D!

Reinforce Like An Athlete

If you only focus on calcium to bolster your bone health, you may be missing the boat. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium. You can consume all the calcium you want, but if you skimp on vitamin D, calcium can’t get into the body to do its job. Adequate vitamin D will keep your bones happy into your later years.

Compete Like An Athlete

Vitamin D is essential for neuromuscular health. Super D helps stimulate your nerves as well as your fast-twitch muscle fibers, the ones that allow you to perform anaerobic feats. Additionally, vitamin D helps with balance, which is essential for the athlete in the most challenging of situations like when attempting to climb that mammoth mountain.

Think Like An Athlete

Peak skeletal muscle function is generally a top priority for athletes, but never downplay the importance of the brain to athletic endeavors. The brain is loaded with vitamin D receptors and adequate intake is believed to protect precious neurons. Individuals with sufficient vitamin D levels have been found to have quicker information processing speeds and cognition than those who possess low vitamin D levels. In long events, it’s the brain that carries us through to the finish line.

“D” Right Amount

Vitamin D is called the “sunshine” vitamin for a reason. When our skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) energy, a chemical in our skin can be transformed into vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is subsequently carried to the liver and the kidneys to be transformed into active vitamin D, but this is not without more than one catch. Several factors may interfere with the body’s natural production of D3, such as:

  • Living North of the imaginary line between Philadelphia and San Francisco between the months of October through March
  • Working a desk job, long training session indoors, or dark morning or evening workouts
  • Using a sunscreen with an SPF of 8 or greater
  • Clothing, glass, plastic, and plexiglass prevent absorption of UVB radiation causing our internal vitamin D factory to shut down
  • Dark skin pigmentation high in melanin also blocks absorption of UVB radiation


Your food choices can satisfy some of your vitamin D requirements, but unfortunately there are only a few foods that are naturally rich in Vitamin D. Fatty fish and fish oils occupy the top of the list. Three and one-half ounces of cooked mackerel, salmon, halibut and sardines contain between 270 and 360 IU of vitamin D. Another unexpected winner in the vitamin D department are mushrooms. Just like in humans, mushrooms can naturally produce significant amounts of vitamin D following exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp for as little as five minutes. Four to five white button or crimini mushrooms or one portobella mushroom that has been exposed to sunlight can provide as much as 400 IU of vitamin D. WOW!! Most other vitamin D-rich foods are fortified such as milk and yogurt (100 IU per 8 ounces), margarine (60 IU per tablespoon) and some cereals (40-50 IU per ¾ cup). So unless you own a fish market or let your mushrooms sunbathe prior to consumption, there may be nutrient gaps and a need for additional D support. Klean-D can help.


Klean offers vitamin D in an absorbable form: D3 (cholecalciferol). This is the same type created in your body when you expose your skin to sunlight. Each bottle lasts 3 months and is available at an extremely affordable price. With a one tablet daily dose, Klean-D helps the athlete support multiple areas of their physiology, including bone calcium, muscle and brain systems. The bottom line: Klean Athlete gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t!



Biography for Karlyn Grimes

Karlyn Grimes, MS RD LDN CSSD, is the founder of Simply Simple Health (SSH). SSH creates and administers nutrition, fitness and health education programs for primary, secondary, private and college athletes, educators, coaches and sports teams throughout the Boston area. Programming includes individual and group sports nutrition counseling, and sport-specific personal training. SSH also contributes to numerous academic textbooks, magazines and Karlyn is the author of The Everything Antiinflammatory Diet.

Professionally, Karlyn has received a dual Master’s degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Colgate University with a minor in economics. She is a registered dietitian (RD) with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and a licensed dietitian nutritionist (LDN) in the state of Massachusetts. She is currently a faculty member in the Nutrition and Biology Departments at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts where she teaches sports nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, exercise physiology, anatomy and physiology, general biology and numerous other courses.

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