What do you think about when you hear someone say vitamin C? Maybe orange juice? Maybe a vitamin C supplement? How about when someone says pre-workout? You probably think of caffeine, energy, focus, and muscle pumps. Now, what about post-workout recovery? Possibly protein, amino acids, even some rehydration ingredients, right?
All of those things are accurate and commonly used and considered when taking a pre-workout or post-workout supplement. Many fail to realize that vitamin C is incredibly powerful and beneficial when it comes to maximizing recovery and minimizing catabolic stress.
In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into exactly why you should consider leveraging vitamin C as a pre- or post-workout addition to your supplement regimen.
Disclaimer: You should always speak to a doctor before using any supplements and before engaging in any exercise program to ensure you are healthy enough to do so. This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.
Why Would You Want to Use Vitamin C Around Your Workouts?
We can all agree that there’s nothing exciting about a vitamin C supplement. It’s not like a pre-workout that you’re going to feel it working and energizing you, nor is it like a flavored protein or amino acid supplement that is a refreshing reward following an intense workout. Instead, vitamin C is one of those supplements that get to work without you really being aware of what’s going on behind the scenes.
By now, you’re probably wondering why exactly you should consider using vitamin C around your workouts? You don’t hear much about it other than the fact that it’s commonly used for boosting immunity. Below are some of the important benefits you can achieve when using vitamin C around your workouts.
1. Reduce Muscle Inflammation
When it comes to exercise, you are probably all too familiar with muscle soreness following intense workouts. When DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) sets in, it can remind you all day long (and even for multiple days) that you pushed yourself hard and taxed the muscles during your previous workout.
The process of breaking down muscle fibers can lead to inflammation, and inflammation leads to soreness. While some muscle soreness can be minor, some could be severe depending on how much damage was done to the tissue during the workout.
By supplementing with vitamin C around your workouts, you have the ability to help reduce muscle inflammation and soreness as vitamin C has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Lower Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a stress hormone that is fine when normalized but can cause some issues when it increases. When the body is under stress (such as during workouts or work/family issues), cortisol is released. Luckily, shortly after the rise in cortisol, in the case of exercise, it levels back out and normalizes without any intervention needed following your workouts.
That being said, when cortisol levels in the body remain elevated and become chronic, it can cause a domino effect to take place within the body. Chronically high levels of cortisol can cause the release of a hunger hormone called ghrelin which can cause you to be hungry all of the time – more than likely leading to a daily caloric surplus and ultimately weight gain.
Cortisol also causes a rise in estrogen, which combats your body’s testosterone production and can inhibit muscle growth and recovery. Increased levels of estrogen can also cause you to more easily store body fat.
To reduce levels of cortisol in the body, you can supplement with vitamin C around your workouts which can help preserve your lean muscle mass and prevent catabolism (the breakdown of muscle tissue). A healthy maintenance of normalized cortisol levels can also help speed up recovery and allow you to better manage your weight.
3. Minimize Oxidative Stress
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and, as such, can help prevent oxidative stress from doing harm to the cells and the body. Surprisingly enough, your body is battling free radicals every day without you ever knowing or feeling it.
You can think of oxidative stress as rust forming on a metal pole outside. A similar reaction takes place in your body, where free radicals move throughout the body and can damage, mutate, or kill healthy cells. This can lead to health issues and even some forms of disease and cancer.
What can cause oxidative stress? Well, for the sake of this article, the main focus would be on your workout. Because of the demand and stress you put on your body during workouts, oxidative stress can increase. For that reason, supplementing with vitamin C around your workouts can help minimize oxidative stress and help protect your cells from harm and support your overall health.
4. Aid with Recovery
Workouts are incredibly taxing on the body and muscles. Vitamin C can help repair connective tissue, reduce muscle soreness, and support your body in its effort to promote new muscle tissue growth. Vitamin C is also used to help form collagen, which is vital for the health of your ligaments, cartilage, bones, and tendons (that clearly play a vital role in your workouts and performance).
Something else to consider which ties in with #2 is that because vitamin C helps control cortisol, it indirectly also helps naturally boost levels of testosterone due to a decrease in cortisol which also means a reduction in estrogen. The increase in testosterone can help support lean muscle tissue growth and overall muscle recovery following workouts.
5. Boost Immunity
Workouts can take a lot out of you and can negatively impact the immune system due to the amount of stress put on the body to not only perform optimally but then try to recover fully following grueling workouts. A decline in immunity can open up the door for harmful pathogens to do harm to the body. This is clearly something you want to prevent.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and keep it functioning properly.
Take Your Recovery and Results to New Heights!
Go ahead and take your favorite pre-workout products and follow up your workouts with a delicious protein shake, but if you’re skipping vitamin C around your workouts, you’re truly missing out. For the price of vitamin C, you may be nuts to pass up on adding this powerful micronutrient and antioxidant to your supplement regimen.
If you want a high-quality vitamin C supplement, look no further than Simple Supplements Buffered Vitamin C. This buffered form of vitamin C is perfect for those who have sensitive digestive systems where high intakes of vitamin C can cause discomfort and digestion issues.
Simple Supplements Buffered Vitamin C helps improve workout recovery, boost immunity, protect cellular health, lower cortisol, and manage inflammation. Additionally, Simple Supplements Buffered Vitamin C includes two additional extremely beneficial ingredients – bioflavonoids and rosehips. Together, these additional ingredients enhance the formula by improving the absorption of vitamin C, supporting proper blood flow, and further improving the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Don’t let muscle soreness and poor recovery prevent you from maximizing your results. Add vitamin C to your supplement regimen today!