8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

The workout supplement industry in the United States is currently estimated at around $13 billion, which means people are spending a lot of money to improve their athletic performance. But what if you could skip the packaged powders with unpronounceable ingredients in favor of an all-natural supplement that’s already in many of the foods you already eat and love?

Does that sound too good to be true? It’s not! According to our team of experts, vitamin C (which is super easy to sneak into your diet) can have a powerful effect on your workout performance.

Curious how it works? Our experts weigh in: 

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Helps to optimize your hormonal profile

As a personal trainer, I’m always reminding my clients of how important vitamins are (in addition to protein, etc.) for maximizing their gym performance.

Of course, taking vitamin C alone won’t take your exercise game to mountainous heights, but it is a critical nutrient that assists in optimizing your hormonal profile for maximizing strength development.

If you’re seeking to build muscle by lifting weights, then it’s no good just eating as much protein as possible – you need to create the right internal environment within your body to allow muscular adaptations to take place. Consuming enough vitamin C will ensure that your testosterone levels are healthy and sufficiently high for you to gain strength and lean muscle. Since many gym-goers and athletes take vitamin C for granted and focus on flashier supplements instead, they often don’t get enough vitamin C to maintain healthy hormone levels – a requirement that’s increased if you perform intense exercise regularly.

If you want to improve your body composition and set new PRs at the squat rack, make sure to cover your bases by nourishing your body with adequate vitamin C on a daily basis.

James Jackson, Personal Trainer, Critical Body

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Vitamin C may help reduce muscle soreness and muscle breakdown

A study found that supplementing with high-dose vitamin C helps reduce muscle soreness and delays the increase of creatine kinase (an enzyme present when muscle damage occurs) after exercise. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps to fight inflammation, which is likely why vitamin C has these impacts. Of course, reduced muscle soreness and reduced muscle damage can help improve performance and improve endurance.

Diana Gariglio-Clelland, Registered Dietitian for NextLuxury

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Antioxidant support

Vitamin C is an excellent way to support your recovery after a hard workout session. It acts as a powerful antioxidant to reduce exercise-related oxidative stress that may lead to fatigue, muscle damage, and immune problems.

Vitamin C also supports healthy circulation, which helps your heart pump blood and oxygen to muscle tissues. This can help you both during and after your workout.

By supporting the recovery process, vitamin C allows you to get back out there and train again so that you can see more gains.

Heather Hanks, MS, Medical Advisor and Nutritionist, Medical Solutions BCN

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Promotes collagen production

One way that vitamin C boosts exercise performance is by aiding in the production of collagen. Collagen is essential when it comes to making joints healthier and more resilient, helping people avoid injury during the workout. It also helps in muscle repair, making it possible for you to have a sustainable workout routine.

Erin Zadoorian, CEO and Executive Editor, Ministry of Hemp

Vitamin C helps to metabolize protein

Protein is responsible for the biosynthesis (processing) of L-carnitine, collagen, and even a few neurotransmitters, making it critical for muscle growth and recovery. Vitamin C acts as a bit of a conductor for protein, which means performance is boosted when protein is more easily absorbed due to an adequate vitamin C intake.

Karisa Karmali, Founder, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Self-Love and Fitness

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Vitamin C aids in connective tissue repair

Vitamin C can benefit athletes and bodybuilders since their training causes connective tissue damage. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can reverse the oxidative damage caused by free radicals that interfere with normal cell function.

Dan Barcelon, Owner & Editor-in-Chief, Non-Athlete Fitness

Vitamin C is nature's antihistamine. 

Do sniffles ever get in the way of your workout? Vitamin C is an all-natural way to relieve allergies without any side effects.

This easy-to-access vitamin reduces the intensity of the allergic response, because it lowers the amount of the biological substance that is released in response to an allergic reaction, histamine.

If you are exercising outdoors, vitamin C is  a great way to prevent the side effects of some antihistamines, like dehydration, which is especially important when you are exercising and perspiring.

Payel Gupta, MD., Cofounder, Cleared

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Reducing inflammation

The primary way vitamin C may boost exercise performance is through the reduction of inflammation, stress hormone, and oxidative stress. When taken intermittently, such as during intense bouts of exercise, it helps us recover more quickly, so we can get back to peak performance. 

Support for this can be seen in a study of the effect of vitamin C on ultramarathon runners. The study found that, when taken daily for a week before a race and two days after, vitamin C helped decrease cortisol stress hormones and inflammatory markers.

This is extremely helpful after an event that causes such a massive amount of inflammation, much more than what is experienced with regular training. Taking vitamin C after such an event can help repair muscle damage, allowing for a speedier and more full recovery. When we can recover more fully and more quickly, we can regularly train harder leading to increased performance.

Kylene Bogden, Functional Performance Dietitian, FWDFuel 

8 Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation for Exercise Performance

Boost your workout routine by adding more vitamin C to your day with KOR’s Potent-C. Packed with C-rich orange and pineapple juices, this delightful and delicious immunity shot is the most vibrant addition to your workout routine. Boost your day with KOR!


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