Just because vitamin D is a vitamin that can be naturally derived from the sun doesn’t mean that we all get enough of it.

In fact, almost half of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency, which can have some serious long-term health effects if gone unchecked. That’s why ShineWater was developed. The sugar-free, antioxidant-rich (and super tasty) beverage is packed with vitamin D, as well as other nutrients essential to its absorption. We got the chance to ask reps from the brand, as well as Dr. Charlotte Grayson, MD, who is also on the ShineWater Advisory Board, all of our most pressing about vitamin D and its importance, and here’s everything we discovered:

Sweety High: What exactly is vitamin D? What does it do for our bodies?

ShineWater: Vitamin D is a nutrient necessary for good health. It supports overall wellness and essential bodily functions, such as helping your body absorb calcium and supporting a lifetime of optimal bone health. Your immune system needs vitamin D to combat sickness, as the nutrient helps fight bacteria and viruses. Your muscles also need it to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and body.

Approximately 42% of people have a vitamin D deficiency due to sunscreen and other factors. Lack of time outside (especially in the shorter days and colder winter months), higher melanin levels, sunscreen and clothing limit vitamin D intake via sun exposure with their relative sun-blocking properties that prevent adequate intake.

Dr. Charlotte Grayson: Vitamin D is essential for your immune system. The vitamin works with various factors targeted to support your immune system and potentially keep you from getting sick. Emerging medical research also notes that Vitamin D intake supports nerve and heart health.

Shutterstock: Happy Hopeful Woman Looking at the Sunset by the Sea. Silhouette of a dreamer girl looking hopeful at the horizon

(via Shutterstock)


SH: What happens when we don’t get enough of it?

CG: You won’t have symptoms when you’re mildly deficient. However, vitamin D plays a vital role in overall health and immune system support. Particularly for patients struggling with depression or obesity, maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels directly improves overall wellness.

While a young woman or teenager may not currently experience any issues with their bone health, a lifelong low Vitamin D level may lead to serious health issues later on, most notably, osteoporosis. More short-term symptoms commonly experienced include the impact on energy level and skin health.


SH: What are the primary ways our bodies take in vitamin D?

ShineWater: There are some mechanisms regarding how the kidneys work in relation to how the vitamin is processed through the body and the skin via diet and sun exposure.

ShineWater, currently offered in six flavors (and soon to be seven!), has zero added sugar and includes wellness-focused ingredients in optimal amounts. The ingredient list contains electrolytes, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, antioxidants, vitamin B12 and folate, in addition to vitamin D.

shinewater flavor varieties

(via ShineWater)


SH: What are some of the best food sources of vitamin D?

ShineWater: Certain red meats, certain fishes, fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and milk.

In terms of beverages, ShineWater offers an easy and tasty solution to meet your daily recommended intake with a 100% FDA recommended serving in every bottle.

ShineWater was developed as a problem-solving hydration beverage to tackle the widespread issue of vitamin D deficiency in the American diet. Without sacrificing flavor, quality or convenience. ShineWater has trademarked the slogan “Sunshine in a Bottle,” referencing a chief source of vitamin D, which is the sun.


SH: Why is it that so many people don’t get enough vitamin D every day?

ShineWater: There aren’t that many sources of Vitamin D via beverages and the current options for consumers are often limited to dairy products. With typical vitamin D-rich foods and beverages like egg yolks, cereal and milk losing popularity in the American diet, introducing a beverage that solves the problem of this underserved yet vital nutrient was fundamental in developing ShineWater.

The winter months also play a role in people spending more time indoors and less time outside in public places, creating less opportunity for vitamin D intake via sun exposure. As a result, meeting the FDA’s daily recommended intake is more important than ever.


SH: What are some of the signs that someone might not be getting enough vitamin D?

ShineWater: While vitamin D deficiency symptoms are relatively non-specific, specific correlating lifestyle factors play a prominent role.

CG: Certain groups are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency, including African Americans, Asian groups or those with higher melanin levels in their skin. This is due to the sun-blocking properties of melanin, which acts as a barrier to vitamin D intake via sun exposure.

ShineWater: The most common symptoms regularly brought up by patients suffering from vitamin D deficiency, as stated by Dr. Grayson, are bone pain and fatigue.


SH: What vitamin D advice do you have for those who live in places that don’t get a lot of sunlight, especially in the winter months?

CG: Vitamin D via sun exposure is the more risky route, with potentially harmful side effects such as sunburns and melanoma. For many, this makes vitamin D intake via food or beverage the ideal option for the winter months and beyond. ShineWater offers the full benefits of the vitamin with the 100% daily recommended serving, without the associated risks of intake via sun exposure.

ShineWater: Most patients are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, if additional supplements are prescribed, it’s essential to take them regularly not to experience a “bounce back” effect.

With virtually half of the entire US population impacted by Vitamin D deficiency, the breadth of the ShineWater target demographic is incredibly wide, affecting children, adults, and people from all ages and backgrounds alike.


SH: Is there anything else we should know about vitamin D?

CG: The pervasiveness of vitamin D deficiency. I see it in diagnoses every day, and patients need to be aware of it and ask their physician to check their vitamin D levels during their yearly checkup. Your physician will typically start checking for vitamin D levels for patients in their early twenties, but if vitamin D levels are low, they may need to be checked more frequently, such as every four to six months.


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