It is well-known that each person’s requirements of nutrients can be different depending on a variety of factors such as body type, weight, metabolism and/or any other pre-existing deficiencies and problems. Athletes and people who follow an intensive exercise regimen also have specific requirements that differ from other people. This is mainly because hardcore exercise and physical activity places strain on our bodies that can be repaired majorly by specific nutrients. Vitamin C is one such nutrient.
The role of vitamin C
Vitamin C is responsible for various important functions in our bodies. These include:
- Helping build collagen
- Boosting our immunity
- Helping with wound healing and repair
- Neutralising free radicals (atoms that damage our cells and are linked to aging and illness)
- Promoting skin, bone and cartilage health
Why athletes need vitamin C For those involved in high endurance sports or exercise routines, their body has certain requirements that might be different from that of other people. Or their reasons for consumption might be different. While the recommended intake of vitamin C might remain the same for all, athletes seek specific benefits from this vitamin.
1. Stronger immunity
Vitamin C naturally boosts immunity levels. This in turn means lesser interruptions in training due to illness. It also helps speed up recovery time between workout sessions or even in case of sports injuries.
2. Tissue repair
Athletes like bodybuilders encounter connective tissue damage because of their rigorous training. Vitamin C helps repair this damage.
3. Antioxidant properties
Exhaustive exercise and training leads to the creation of free radicals in our bodies. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that can neutralize these cell damaging atoms which have been linked to diseases.
4. Aids with the absorption of iron Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron easily. Iron is another important micronutrient crucial for healthy brain function, synthesizing DNA, carrying oxygen around the body as well as for boosting immunity.
Vitamin C and fatigue
The lack of sufficient vitamin C in our bodies has also been linked to increased levels of tiredness and lethargy. This can impede training efforts as it reduces one's drive and motivation.
Getting the right amount of vitamin C In most cases, sufficient adjustments to our diet is enough to get the right amount of this micronutrient. This would include the addition of foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, dark leafy greens, papaya, mango, watermelon, cauliflower, cabbage and red peppers. However, note that high temperatures used during cooking can destroy the vitamin C content of foods rich in this nutrient. This is why it is recommended that you use minimal heat while cooking. Consider stir fried and/or blanched vegetables and also fruits at their peak stage of ripeness to derive the vitamin C content of these foods.
Healthy energy drinks and vitamin C Many athletes have various supplements and energy drinks as part of their daily pre and post training regimen. This is done to gain energy, keep going longer, aid recovery and replenish the levels of electrolytes. A drink like Prolyte is great in all of these respects. It is enriched with vitamin C and the right amount of glucose to help athletes gain the optimum benefit. Combined with a demanding workout schedule and healthy diet, Prolyte fights exhaustion, energises the body and keeps it going for longer.
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