19 Sep Vitamin C – The Facts
Vitamin C is responsible for more than 300 purposes in your body, everything from being the top anti-oxidant, producing collagen, keeping your immune system in top shape, curing some male infertility problems, lowering blood pressure and relieving stress.
Vitamin C produces Collagen. Collagen is essentially the “adhesive” that holds your body together. It is the tissue that holds your muscles to your skeleton, your skin to your muscles, and keeps you together. This may not mean much to you, but it also is needed to heal injuries faster.
If Collagen will help heal sprained joints, broken bones, cuts, and other injuries, then would it not make sense that it will mean a better and faster muscle recovery after a workout?
And what about all those days we are too sick to go to the gym? You miss training and often are not able to keep up your nutrition timetable due to illnesses. Vitamin C is being shown through continued research to stimulate the immune system; through this function, along with its antioxidant function, it may help in the prevention and treatment of infections and other diseases. Ascorbic acid may activate neutrophils, the most prevalent white blood cells that work on the frontline defence in more hand-to-hand combat than other white blood cells. It also seems to increase production of lymphocytes, the white cells important in antibody production and in coordinating the cellular immune functions. In this way also, C may be helpful against bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases. In higher amounts, ascorbic acid may actually increase interferon production and thus activate the immune response to viruses; it may also decrease the production of histamine, thereby reducing immediate allergy potential. Therefore it is easy to see how a high level of Vitamin C can help keep risk of illnesses down as well as helping to cure common illnesses such as the common cold or flu type symptoms. This can only mean extra days on the gym when you would have been lying down losing muscle.
Vitamin C stimulates adrenal function and the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline), our stress hormones; however, prolonged stress depletes vitamin C in the adrenals and decreases the blood levels. Ascorbic acid also helps thyroid hormone production, and it aids in cholesterol metabolism, increasing its elimination and thereby assisting in lowering blood cholesterol.
Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce blood pressure particularly useful to those suffering from high blood pressure as well as people that chose to use anabolic steroids where a raise in blood pressure is a common symptom. OK so now you are thinking that you could benefit from making a conscious effort to increase your vitamin C intake daily. So in what foods do we find Vitamin C ?
It is found only in the fruit and vegetable foods and is highest in fresh, uncooked foods. Vitamin C is one of the least stable vitamins, and cooking can destroy much of this water-soluble vitamin from foods.
Vitamin C is a weak acid and is stable in weak acids. Alkalis, such as baking soda, however, destroy ascorbic acid. It is also easily oxidized in air and sensitive to heat and light. Since it is contained in the watery part of fruits and vegetables, it is easily lost during cooking in water. Loss is minimized when vegetables such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts are cooked over water in a double boiler instead of directly in water. The mineral copper, in the water or in the cookware, diminishes vitamin C content of foods.
How much should I take ?
The RDA is a mere 60mgs which in my opinion is too low for a normal person let alone and active bodybuilder that puts his or her body under much more stress than the average person.
Many Doctors and nutritionists also think think that 60mg’s is too low and tend to lean towards suggestion 250-300 mgs. remember we are still talking about the normal average non weight trainer person. I think 1000-2000 mg’s is a good place to start when experimenting with Vit C amounts. You could try a little more and see if you notice and difference in recovery.
Remember, Vitamin C is water soluble, so any extra will just wash out of your system with your fluids.
Written by Yatesnightblade
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