The benefits of Vitamin C for working out
11 April 2022
Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid which aids many important bodily functions, including post workout recovery. It is very important that the body has adequate levels of Vitamin C, as a deficiency can lead to a condition called scurvy, which results in symptoms such as feeling tired, weak, irritable, easy bruising, bleeding from gums and joint pain.
Where can you get vitamin C?
For such an essential vitamin, it is frustrating that Vitamin C can’t be stored in your body, so you need to either eat it in foods or take it every day as a supplement (or both). Adults from age 19 to 64 need around 40mg of vitamin C every day, and children need slightly less; around 25mg a day.
Vitamin C can be found in a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, such as:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, orange juice)
- Brussel sprouts
When working out for prolonged or intense periods of time, this can increase cortisol secretion. When you have finished working out and warmed down, your cortisol levels will eventually drop down to a stabilised level but for some can remain high for longer periods. High levels of cortisol can in turn induce a catabolic state that can cause muscles to break down. Taking Vitamin C supplements can help to bring down the level of cortisol after exercising, allowing you to get the most out of your workouts.
Reduces muscle inflammation
It is quite common to get muscle soreness after working out, and many think that it is a sign that you have worked the specific muscles in the areas you were concentrating on. However, when you overexert your muscles during a workout, it can create muscle inflammation which can then lead to muscle soreness. This can sometimes last for days, which can limit your next workout. By taking vitamin C after a workout, it can help to target muscle inflammation and reduce soreness, allowing you to proceed with your workout routine more effectively in the following days.
Can aid tissue healing
Tissue connecting the muscles in the body is made up from a high percentage of collagen, and as you exercise the collagen can start to wear away. By taking vitamin C alongside other amino acids, it can help to form collagen in the body and heal the connective tissue.
Restore muscle strength
Protein can be an essential nutrient for working out, but it is not that effective if the body cannot break it down and transport it around the body. Vitamin C can help to metabolise protein more efficiently, allowing it to repair damage to the muscle fibres caused by working out.