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Ascorbic Acid

Updated: Mar 15

What is Ascorbic Acid?

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble molecule found in food, particularly citrus fruits and berries. It is essential to the body and plays a role in various bodily functions: immune system, antioxidant, collagen formation and iron absorption.

How can the levels be affected?

During physical activity, vitamin C levels can be affected in a number of ways:

  1. Increased requirements: Intense physical activity can increase vitamin C requirements. This is due to an increase in oxidative stress in the body caused by exercise, which can lead to increased consumption of vitamin C to combat the free radicals (highly reactive molecules that throw the body out of balance) produced during exercise.

  2. Reduced absorption: During exercise, blood flow is often redirected towards the active muscles, which can temporarily reduce the absorption of nutrients, including vitamin C, in the intestine. This can lead to a reduction in the availability of vitamin C during and after exercise.

  3. Increased elimination: Intense exercise can lead to increased elimination of vitamin C by kidneys.

  4. Oxidative stress: Intense exercise can increase oxidative stress in the body, which can deplete vitamin C levels. As an antioxidant, vitamin C plays a crucial role in neutralising the free radicals produced during exercise, which can lead to a depletion of its reserves.

  5. Dehydration: Dehydration, which can occur during exercise, can also affect vitamin C levels in the body. Vitamin C is water-soluble and increased dehydration can lead to increased excretion by kidneys.

  6. Vitamin C intake: When you eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, peppers and green leafy vegetables, your body absorbs this vitamin. Some of this vitamin C is used by your body for its physiological functions, while the excess is excreted in urine. Consequently, a high intake of vitamin C in the diet can increase levels of vitamin C in urine.

To maintain optimal levels of vitamin C during exercise, it is important to maintain a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, which are natural sources of vitamin C. In addition, it may be worth considering taking vitamin C supplements if needs increase as a result of intense or prolonged physical activity. However, it is always advisable to consult a health professional before starting any supplement.

How can I maintain an optimal rate?

To maintain optimum vitamin C levels during sporting activity, here are a few tips:

  • Balanced diet: Make sure you eat a diet rich in vitamin C. Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, kiwis and citrus fruits, as well as vegetables such as peppers, broccoli and spinach, are excellent sources of vitamin C. Include them in your pre- and post-workout meals and snacks. Include them in your pre- and post-workout meals and snacks.

  • Regular consumption of vitamin C-rich foods: Try to eat vitamin C-rich foods throughout the day, not just before or after training. This will help maintain constant levels of vitamin C in your body.

  • Adequate hydration: Make sure you stay well hydrated during exercise by drinking enough water. Adequate hydration can help maintain an optimal concentration of vitamin C in urine and promote its regular elimination.

  • Avoid taking too many supplements: If you take vitamin C supplements, make sure you don't exceed the recommended doses to avoid adverse effects on your body. Too much vitamin C can lead to excessive elimination by kidneys, which can result in a waste of this precious vitamin.

By following these tips, you can help maintain optimal vitamin C levels to support your sporting performance and overall fitness.

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