In 2022, nearly 20% of French adults consumed less than ⅔ of the recommended intake of vitamin C. But, what is vitamin C and what are its benefits for health and sport? Nutrimuscle explains everything there is to know about this vitamin.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C , also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods. It is essential for the proper functioning of the body because it plays an important role in the production of collagen, a key component of connective tissue that helps maintain healthy bones, teeth and skin.
It is also a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against damage caused by free radicals. These are responsible for cellular aging and the appearance of various chronic diseases. Additionally, it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells.
The health benefits of vitamin C
This vitamin is known for its antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage DNA and healthy cells.
It is also beneficial for strengthening the immune system. Studies have shown that vitamin C can increase the proliferation of immune cells, making it an effective immune booster. Vitamin C deficiency can also weaken immune defenses, which can increase the risk of infections and diseases.
Vitamin C also plays an important role in the formation of collagen, an essential protein for healthy skin, teeth, cartilage and bones. By contributing to normal collagen formation, vitamin C can help maintain healthy connective tissues in the body.
In addition to boosting the immune system and promoting collagen formation, vitamin C also helps protect cells against oxidative stress. Free radicals can cause cell damage that can lead to various chronic diseases. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help neutralize free radicals and protect cells from damage.
Finally, vitamin C is also important for normal psychological functions. It can help maintain a positive mood and healthy cognitive function. Studies have shown that people with higher vitamin C levels have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In sum, vitamin C has many health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, promoting skin and connective tissue health, protecting against oxidative stress, and promoting healthy psychological function. . It is important to maintain an adequate intake of vitamin C to reap these benefits.
Symptoms and causes of vitamin C deficiency
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the human body, and a deficiency of this vitamin can have negative health effects. Deficiency symptoms can vary depending on its severity, but may include persistent fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, bleeding gums, dry scaly skin , and increased susceptibility to infection.
The main causes of vitamin C deficiency are an insufficient diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as factors such as alcoholism, intestinal malabsorption, chronic kidney disease, smoking, and iron metabolism disorders. Smokers are particularly at risk of vitamin C deficiency because smoking can decrease the absorption of vitamin C in the body. It is therefore important to consume enough vitamin C to maintain good health.
Food sources of vitamin C
Vitamin C is found naturally in many foods, primarily fresh fruits and vegetables. Here are some examples of food sources of vitamin C:
It is important to note that vitamin C is sensitive to heat and light, so prolonged cooking and exposure to light can reduce the vitamin C content of foods. It is therefore recommended to eat foods rich in vitamin C raw or lightly cooked to preserve the content.
How to take your vitamin C?
To perform vitamin C supplementation, it is important to take into account the effects it can have on your body. In some people, vitamin C can produce a booster effect, similar to caffeine. In this case, it is advisable to take it in the morning and/or before training to take advantage of its energizing benefits. On the other hand, in other individuals, vitamin C can cause mild drowsiness. In this case, it is best to avoid it during the day and take it instead in the evening. However, vitamin C has diuretic effects, which can disrupt sleep by causing frequent urges to urinate at night.
To avoid forgetting to take your vitamin C supplement, it is preferable to divide the intake without making the protocol too restrictive. You can take your supplement with your meals, or before a training session with proteins or BCAAs to reinforce its energizing effects.
What you must remember
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods. It is essential for the functioning of the body because it helps in the production of collagen, a key component of connective tissue that helps maintain healthy bones, teeth and skin. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radical damage, which can contribute to cellular aging and various chronic diseases.
In addition to strengthening the immune system, vitamin C also helps protect cells against oxidative stress and is important for normal psychological functions. Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency can include persistent fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, bleeding gums, and increased susceptibility to infections. Getting enough vitamin C by including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is important for maintaining good health.