After hitting the gym we often find ourselves grabbing the essential protein bar and a bottle of water. We tend to forget about one substance which is crucial to the formation and maintenance of our muscles- Vitamin C.
Not only is Vitamin C is the most intensively studied vitamin in sports nutrition but it’s positive effects on athletes and bodybuilders are measured and documented. There are several reasons why Vitamin C is so important to consume in conjunction with working out…
In addition to building and releasing steroid hormones like testosterone, Vitamin C acts as a crucial assistant to several metabolic functions in our body.
Vitamin C is a key component of our metabolism. Our metabolism is what maintains our body and it is also the function which burns body fat. Having your metabolism working in optimal condition is ideal for anybody, and especially for someone who is working out their body. These processes all take place on a cellular level in our body. In 2002 the University of Colorado at Boulder studied Vitamin C intake and metabolism in adults. Doctor Bell measured resting metabolic rate in adults before and after a direct infusion of Vitamin C. The results show that following the infusion, “resting metabolism increases on average by almost 100 calories per day” (Science Daily 2002).
In addition to enabling our metabolism to work more efficiently, Vitamin C helps form the protein, Collagen. This is important to know for building muscle because collagen serves as the matrix on which bone is formed. Collagen basically holds things together (like your bone and muscle) so this protein is crucial for body builders who lift strenuous amounts of weight. Collagen is an important protein for your muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular system. Vitamin C also aids the health of our muscles because it stimulates the absorption of iron into our blood stream. Iron then provides oxygen in the bloodstream to travel to our muscles which helps enable maximum performance.
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) also acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals. This is valuable to the structure of the muscles as it protects the muscle tissues against oxidative stress and contributes toward muscle recovery and growth.
If you’re convinced you need to start taking advantage of Vitamin C during your next work out, it can be taken in supplement form or can be incorporated into your diet through citrus fruits, peppers, and dark leafy greens…