Introduction to Vitamin C:
Many weight training athletes seem to think that Vitamin C is simply something that comes in their daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. However, this lowly vitamin is probably the most important and popular nutritional ingredient of all time. After all, it has so many benefits and helps to work on a number of different levels that even if it did nothing to help a workout directly it would still be worth taking.
Nevertheless, there are a number of benefits that actually relate to how Vitamin C will help your workout. It is a powerful anti-oxidant, which means that it can help to improve the use of oxygen. Certainly this will benefit aerobic training like running, jogging, and bicycling. However, it may even help weight trainers to recover more quickly between intense sets under heavy loads. Also, this vitamin has recently accumulated a lot of evidence that it can help to reduce cortisol levels. This can be huge in helping to improve a workout as well.
The Cortisol Problem:
One of the major problems with cortisol is that it is the ultimate stress hormone. This actually signals the body to store fat and fight your best efforts to build muscle. Not to mention the fact that it also helps to keep you feeling tired, run down, and of course, stressed out.
Of course, we also need to remember that the whole point of a workout is to place more stress on your body. The idea is that by shocking the body with an intense load, the body needs to take drastic efforts in order to adapt (i.e. produce bigger muscles and lower fat levels, etc…). More intensity can mean more stress and more cortisol.
Vitamin C and Cortisol:
When taken before a workout, Vitamin C is able to help block the effects of cortisol. This blockage leads to the body being able to more readily adapt to the stress which your workout places upon it. Many researchers even think that Vitamin C may have properties that resemble hormones and is a powerful enemy of cortisol.
Taking around 500mg of this vital nutrient as a pre-workout supplement is certainly an excellent insurance policy. At the very least, you will see your energy levels increase and should also have an improved workout. You may even want to try taking some more immediately upon finishing a workout to help aid in the recovery process.
Another excellent benefit of using Vitamin C on a regular basis is that it helps to clear any excess caffeine and other stimulants from your system. Not to mention that regular usage over a period of time can even help to increase testosterone levels. And this is certainly good for helping muscular recovery and rebuilding!