Purpose: Review of the evidence which supports the consumption of vitamin C
for sportsmen and athletes aiming improvement performance. Data synthesis: Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient with several important biological functions. In addition to being considered a potent antioxidant that eliminates reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Among other functions, vitamin C reduces the symptoms of colds and flu, accelerating the recovery process and has an anti-catabolic effect. This effect has fundamental importance for the physically active. Considering that vitamin C participates as a cofactor in carnitine biosynthesis, steroid hormones and neurotransmitters, it has been established the idea that the need for this nutrient would increase for people engaged in strenuous exercise or frequent stress. Because of this, this paper aims to investigate the role of this micronutrient
in performance. Material and methods: We searched the published scientific literature for randomized controlled trials of adult human subjects reporting vitamin C
intake and training, besides animal models and literature review about the topic. Twenty-eight papers since 2000 were identified by searches of PubMed, with the search terms “ascorbic acid”, “bioavailability”, “oxidative stress”, “performance”, “free radicals” “supplementation”, “toxicity” and “vitamin C”, ensuring recent knowledge about ascorbic acid. Conclusions: The importance of vitamin C in the diet is indisputable, but more research is needed to clarify whether supplementation of this micronutrient actually leads to performance optimization.
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Author(s): Luciana de Quadros, Igor Brandao and Rafael Longhi
Vitamin C, Bioavailability, Oxidative stress, Supplementation, Toxicity, Vitamin C, Trace Elements, Fatty Acids