Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin to the human body needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Vitamin C is essential for anyone who is healthy and wants to stay that way. It’s particularly important for people who exercise regularly, and for those suffering from illness or infection. Large amounts are needed by the body during any kind of healing process.
Since human bodies do not have the ability to create their own vitamin C we need to obtain it from food or supplements. A variety of fruits and vegetables particularly citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits contain vitamin C. Berries, papaya, melons, peppers, lemons, broccoli, bell peppers, many dark green leafy vegetables, potatoes and tomatoes also have sufficient amounts. It is also popular in a supplement form as most people don’t get enough in their daily diet.
Severe deficiency of Vitamin C can eventually lead to scurvy that causes loose teeth, excessive bleeding and swollen gums, and improper healing of wounds.
Vitamin C protects the body against oxidative stress, helps produce collagen (a connective tissue that holds muscles, bones and other tissues together), it protects you from bruising by keeping capillary walls and blood vessels firm, it helps your body absorb iron from plant food sources, it keeps your bones and gums healthy, helps with blood pressure by strengthening the walls of the arteries, helps heal cuts and wounds, works as an antioxidant to inhibit damage to body cells, protects you from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and improves the immune system.
Since Vitamin C is a water -soluble vitamin it does not get stored by the body, the excess is excreted in urine therefore it is important to habitually consume it on a daily basis.
1. Protects from free radical damage.
When you perform weight training sessions, free radicals are created in the body. Free radicals are basically metabolic waste products that attack the cells of your body. When free radicals attack your cells like this it is called "free radical damage". Because vitamin c is a strong antioxidant, it will fight these free radicals by either stopping their creation, or by reducing their effects.
2. Reduces cortisol production.
The stress of weight lifting triggers a catabolic hormone known as cortisol. In terms of muscle building and fat loss, cortisol is bad for you and something you should try to avoid.
Cortisol actually breaks down muscle tissue to use for energy, and tends to promote extra fat storage especially around your stomach. So as you can see cortisol isn't your best friend and one of the large benefits of vitamin C is it reduces the production of cortisol in your body.
3. Strengthens the immune system.
Getting sick is the last thing an athlete wants. Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system and reduces the chance of you getting ill and helps to prevent the dip in immune function that may occur right after exercise.
4. Helps with muscle soreness.
It has been proven that when vitamin C supplements if taken near a workout, your muscles won't become as sore over the next few days after the workout. It helps you to recover faster from workouts and reduces soreness caused from the workouts by suppressing the cortisol hormone.
5. Increases iron absorption.
Vitamin C will increase the absorption of iron in your body. If you know, iron is used to bind oxygen to hemoglobin in your blood and is vital if you want to perform an intense weight training session with all your energy.