T Nation

2 Major Benefits of Vitamin C


1) Vitamin C is a potent anti-oxidant. When too much oxygen is present in the body, excessive amounts of electrons become present in cells. Cells prefer an even number, and when an extra electron is present, it mutates the cell. The cell, noting the imbalance, discards an electron, which then attaches to a near by cell. The cell that discards the extra electron is now damaged, and the cell it attaches to undergoes the same mutation. The chain continues, until enough cells are affected and you get sick. Vitamin C prevents this chain reaction from occurring by seeking out these excess electrons and lending an electron to them, pairing them up, and thus preventing them from causing damage. This can only happen, though as a preventative measure. Vitamin C cannot break the chain once it starts, so waiting until you are sick is too late. Take vitamin C on a regular basis and it will prevent the chain from starting. It is water soluble, so will not become toxic in the body.

2) Another great fitness reason to take vitamin C regularly is that it is a key player in the synthesis of carnitine. Carnitine is an amino acid responsible for transporting fatty acids into cells mitochondria in order to be used for ATP generation (moves fat into cells to burn as fuel). So by taking more vitamin C regularly, you can burn more body fat. I personally take an EXTRA 5000mg of vitamin C per day and have not been sick since 2012, though I train extremely hard.


Vitamin C also can suppress cortisol which can improve sleep.


Does Vitamin C and E Supplementation Impair the Favorable Adaptations of Regular Exercise?

Vitamin C and E supplementation alters protein signalling after a strength training session, but not muscle growth during 10 weeks of training.

I prefer to get vitamin C from foods instead. Bell peppers, broccoli, berries, etc.


What he said. It’s fairly well established nowadays that you should avoid taking any type of supplemental antioxidants in, or around training at the very least. High supra-physiological doses of single-antioxidant supplements around training is like shooting the messenger that delivers the signal to adapt and grow. *This includes multivitamins, most of which are loaded with antioxidants.

Best case scenario, you get most of your antioxidants from whole-food sources as nature intended. Unless you have a serious deficiency in a particular micronutrient, in many cases overdosing on one to compensate may lower the absorption rates of another and leave you deficient somewhere else.


Mammals, excepting humans, enzymatically produce 5-15 grams of vitamin C per 100 kilograms of bodyweight. I find it hard to believe that a few grams of vitamin C would then block stress induced muscular anabolism as it would preclude all other mammals from developing muscular strength from their particular activities.

Or perhaps the reason that humans did well with a missing enzyme was that humans uniquely need to be able to adapt and develop muscle to meet specific environmental needs? Maybe, but either vitamin C doesn’t hurt muscle growth or we have discovered something very unique about human adaptability.