VITAMIN C AND ITS BENEFITS FOR EXERCISE

Functions 

Vitamin C (ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acid) is water-soluble. It can’t be stored within the body and is therefore essential that it be replaced regularly through diet. It’s a very important vitamin for an athlete and has a number of exercise-related functions.

Vitamin C and exercise

  It is necessary for the maintenance of connective tissues – tendons, ligaments and cartilage
  Vitally for an athlete it is also required for the formation of various hormones produced during exercise, such as adrenaline
  It is involved in the formation of red blood cells, which in turn enhances iron absorption, increasing oxygen delivery
  As a powerful antioxidant it can protect the body against exercise related cell damage
  It aids wound healing and the immune system
  It protects the fat-soluble vitamins A and E

Sources

The main sources for vitamin C are fresh fruit, especially citrus fruits, green vegetables and potatoes, berries and currants, tomatoes and sweet peppers. It’s important to note that vitamin C content can be readily destroyed by both cooking and processing. Destruction is also accelerated by light, heat, air and alkaline substances.

Because the vitamin is water soluble, any excess will be treated as waste and disposed of via the urinary tract. However, some studies have shown that excessive use can result in not only gastrointestinal issues, but the development of kidney stones. As always, wherever possible it’s important to gain the majority of your vitamin and mineral needs through your diet. If you do take a supplement ensure that you don’t exceed the daily recommended doses.

© Hillcliff Personal Training 2012
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