Vitamin C is often touted for its benefits in strengthening the immune system and all round health. Because vitamin C is used by the body to create the feel-good hormone serotonin, it can also be a potent tool when it comes to boosting your mood and combating stress!
But while vitamin C has a lot of benefits for the average Joe, it is less well known as a bodybuilding supplement. This is perhaps a shame however, seeing as it can actually be very effective in helping you to grow new muscle!
Vitamin C has a ton of roles in the body but one of its key jobs is to help with the formation of tissues. These tissues include collagen and protein and more. Essentially, vitamin C helps with the healing process and that includes the healing of muscle fiber that allows it to grow back thicker and stronger following a workout.
What’s also important about vitamin C from a bodybuilding perspective is that it can help to prevent the breakdown of muscle. When you consume vitamin C and it is converted into serotonin, this actually helps to reduce the release of cortisol. This is very important, seeing as cortisol correlates with myostatin – a molecule that signals the body to start breaking down muscle. Cortisol also suppresses testosterone production and therefore, vitamin C can be used to help improve testosterone levels and thereby aid with anabolism.
It is a well-known fact that vitamin C can also help to combat illness and improve recovery. This makes it particularly effective at preventing colds and flus, which can severely hamper training and lead to weeks out of the gym. For these reasons, every bodybuilder and every athlete in general should make sure they have an adequate supply.
The best way to get vitamin C is in your diet and a vast range of different fruits including apples, oranges, lemons, mangos, berries and more will all provide you with ample supply. Failing this, supplementation is also an option and because vitamin C is water soluble, it isn’t generally thought possible to overdose.
Note that vitamin C needs to work alongside other vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc and B6 in order to exert many of its positive effects. To get the very best results then, this should be just one element in a nutritionally dense diet!