Benefits of Vitamin C
Mirwaners! There are plenty of vitamin C supplements out there. Most likely, you are one of those who take vitamin C supplements regularly every day. However, is there evidence that this vitamin C supplementationis useful and effective?
Vitamin C can act as an antioxidant and pro-oxidant in the body. That is, vitamin C can have a positive effect (if it acts as an antioxidant) or a negative effect (if acting as a pro-oxidant). For those who are very concerned about health and pay attention to what they consume, fruit and vegetable consumption tends to be higher. Plus, apart from the food they consume, many of them take antioxidant supplements regularly every day. This makes those in this circle (including you also possible) need to be a little more careful in taking vitamin C supplements, so that the effects of these consumption are not pro-oxidants.
Vitamin C can help your body reduce muscle damage due to exercise. However, it has been proven that a combination of vitamin C (at a dose of 1000 mg) and vitamin E (at a dose of 400IU) will reduce the body's adaptation process to exercise. This happens because vitamin C causes reduced ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) in the body. However, vitamin C without vitamin E may not have the same effect.
On the other hand, vitamin C does not have a consistent and strong effect in reducing the increase in the hormone cortisol due to exercise. This is caused by the dualism of the nature of vitamin C which can be antioxidant or oxidant. In those who regularly exercise, the effect of vitamin C on increasing endurance is also inconsistent. Meanwhile, consumption of high doses can actually cause diarrhea. If it's too high (more than just excessive), taking vitamin C can also cause a condition called oxalate nephrotoxicity. In other words, excessive consumption of vitamin C can actually interfere with kidney function.
While on the positive side, vitamin C can improve exercise performance in low doses and reduce aches after exercise in higher doses (3 grams per day). A dose of 3 grams a day can also help keep your mood to stay positive.
Well, are the benefits worth the risk? Do you need to take vitamin C supplements? What is the recommendation?
Overall, for your daily vitamin C needs, I will prioritize the consumption of fruits and vegetables that are varied and adequate compared to vitamin C supplementation. There is not much strong research evidence that supports the consumption of vitamin C supplements to reduce the effects of exercise on the hormone cortisol or to improve body endurance.