Thursday, December 6, 2012
Supplement Review: Vitamin C
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun.
The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease.(1)
Benefits of Vitamin C for Athletes:
- protects the body from damage by free radicals, especially during intense physical exercise.
- plays a role in injury prevention as well as recovery because it is required for the synthesis of collagen, which is a extremely important structural component of tendons & ligaments.
- important for energy production as it is required for the synthesis of carnitine, (amino acid) which is essential for the transport of fatty acids to the cells for conversion to energy
- boost mental focus and training intensity as well as a role in suppressing the body's production of the catabolic cortisol.
- studies have shown that a high dose of vitamin C before and after intense exercise could reduce oxidative stress and muscle soreness.
- Dosage of Vitamin C: 2000-3000mg per day spaced evenly throughout the day, can be taken with or without food
So, get some vitamin C in your life this winter to keep you healthy and training! The best sources are fruits and vegetables, specifically citrus fruits. If nothing else you can always pick up a vitamin C supplement if you feel you are not getting enough!