Boosting Your Power with this Trusty Vitamin

In All Health Watch, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Fitness and Exercise

With vitamin D rising to “star status,” we don’t hear as much about this one trusty, old vitamin.  It’s the one your mother always told you to take. And at this point, we all know it’s good for us.

This vitamin is critical to good health. It also helps prevent the worst of chronic diseases.1 You just don’t hear too many breakthrough studies about it lately. 

But here’s a good one…

A new scientific study reveals another side to this vitamin staple. The study involved 20 adults – all obese. Half the group got this vitamin supplement (500 mg) to take every day. The other half got a placebo. Their meals were calorie-restricted to help them lose weight. 2

Then, they got on the treadmill…

They each walked an hour on a treadmill – just one hour. They did the same thing at the end of the study, on week 4.

Yes, they lost weight. Each group lost about the same amount.  But the “vitamin group” had something else. On the treadmill, they had a lower heart rate. And their “perceived exertion” was lower – despite the fact that both groups worked equally hard.

Fascinating, isn’t it? They had an easier workout – just from taking this vitamin regularly.

This study is evidence that vitamin C may affect fatigue and heart rate, the researchers write. And that’s not all…

Another study showed that large doses of vitamin C can curb the inflammation that leads to exercise-induced asthma. That’s the wheezing and chest tightness that can occur after exercise. Volunteers took 1500 mg vitamin C daily, or placebo, for two weeks. The vitamin C actually improved their asthma.3

In another study, researchers looked at how this vitamin affects muscles. The 24 young men took either a 400 mg dose of C, 400 mg of vitamin E, or a placebo.  They took the supplements 21 days before exercise and for 7 days after exercise.  The men who took vitamin C had greater muscle recovery in the first 24 hours. It seemed to protect muscles from damage, the researchers write.4 And the evidence just keeps piling up from there…

Vitamin C may help you burn fat during exercise. This study involved eight college students. Each took a 60-minute treadmill test. Those with low levels of vitamin C burned 25% less body fat on the treadmill, compared to students with adequate levels.5

Of course, there are many more good reasons to get plenty of this important vitamin.

Vitamin C is good for your heart.

It helps lower blood pressure6 and reduces stroke risk7 Vitamin C also protects your eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, researchers believe.8

There is also evidence vitamin C helps prevent breast cancer in overweight women, according to a large study of nearly 60,000 Swedish women.9 Studies are finding that this key vitamin (and other antioxidants) may even boost the effect of chemotherapy treatments.10

And recent studies indicate that mega-doses might prove to be an effective intravenous cancer treatment. Several cases show evidence that vitamin C has anti-tumor mechanisms.11

But how much do you need?

The RDA for adult men is 90 mg daily; for adult women, it’s 75. However, there is evidence that 200 mg daily is necessary for optimal protection from chronic diseases.12

Plenty of fruits and vegetables are perfect sources.

  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato juice
  • Potatoes
  • Red and green peppers
  • Kiwifruit
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cantaloupe

An important tip: The vitamin C content in fresh produce is lost over time. So eat it soon after purchase. Or grow your own!

But remember… cooking destroys vitamin C. Steaming may help retain the vitamin. Of course, eating them raw is the best way to get the nutrients – and that’s how you would eat many of these fruits and vegies anyway.  Five servings a day will give you more than 200 mg.13

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