Vitamin C The Multipurpose Supplement
September 9, 2013
Vitamin C is a water soluble essential vitamin. It is probably one of the most popular supplements due to its usage to suppress the common cold’s symptoms and its properties as an antioxidant. It has been proven to be fairly safe and fairly cheap.
To be clear vitamin C is not ineffective when dealing with the common cold, but you can also not say that it cures the common cold. In a normal healthy population research does not support the claims that it reduces the frequency of colds, however in a highly athletic population it can reduce the risk of colds by half. The thinking behind this is due to its effect on cortisol, potentially reducing the biological evidence of stress.
When trying to lose weight through diet and exercise, or training continuously for long durations (greater than one hour without a rest) cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is the stress hormone that can wreak havoc when it is not controlled. The research that is out there, and there really isn’t much looking at its effects on cortisol, has shown that pre-workout supplementation and regular supplementation of vitamin C led to decreased cortisol levels post-workout. It has also been observed that it helps clear stimulants (like caffeine) from your system, so taking if you use a pre-workout and you exercise in the late afternoon/evening time frame post-workout supplementation of vitamin C may be beneficial and enable you to get a better nights sleep.
Vitamin C has also been observed to reduce the rate of muscular damage through strenuous exercise and increase blood flow as well as decrease perceived fatigue during exercise. It has neuroprotective effects and preserves/maintains testosterone production in the testes. We won’t even get into its importance in collagen maintenance and production and skin health.
You can easily take a pill, but it is also found in high amounts in citrus fruit, peppers, kiwi fruit with almost all fresh fruits and vegetables having some vitamin in them. As for supplementation studies have been done with doses up to 1500mg, but it is speculated that the best results may come from doses of up to 2000mg.