Woah, Woah, Woah - there's something else besides protein that is important to strength?
Yes, that's right - today we're going to discuss the role of vitamins C and E in your overall strength and recovery.
By now many of you should know the in’s and out’s of macronutrients; those are your main sources of calories and are generally split between protein, carbs and fats. We know that without these calories we would not be able to train at the high level that we all aspire to.
With that in mind, many people forget about micronutrients and their important role in overall health in and out of the gym.
Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals you obtain from various sources of food. They come in such small amounts (trace amounts) that they are generally not viewed as important - when compared to macros, although micronutrients do play a role in strength.
Many micronutrients play the role of being a source of balance. For example, low levels of Vitamin D have been correlated to lower testosterone. Low vitamin C can cause many adverse effects such as anxiety and even scurvy (which is essentially the breakdown of collagen).
Obviously, these are more extreme cases of malnutrition, but ensuring you are getting the right amount will help to sustain strength and performance.
A water-soluble vitamin that most mammals (like us) cannot create on our own. In this case, vitamin C needs to be obtained through the diet or supplemented.
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen production which is essential for the structure of blood vessels, tendons, bone, and ligaments. Without the correct amount of vitamin c, your body may also not be able to correctly synthesize carnitine - which is important for fat loss and lipid oxidation.
In addition to these already important factors, emerging science is showing that vitamin C and E may play a role in protein signalling after a workout.
Although vitamin C may not have a direct hand to play in terms of strength and muscle growth it is important in producing collagen, carnitine and could increase protein signalling.
This vitamin plays a very important role in the fight against free-radicals. Vitamin E serves as one of the best sources of antioxidants the body can obtain.
Vitamin E is sourced primarily from oils and fatty foods and is important in limiting fat oxidation - specifically to low-density lipoproteins (which transport cholesterol from the liver to working tissue).
Although these vitamins do not play a direct role in the growth of muscle mass, research is showing that vitamins and minerals such as these can help to increase the bodies ability to handle stress and in this way, improve strength and recovery.
Using supplemented vitamin C and E is a great way to ensure your body is obtaining optimal dosage in order to sustain growth and recovery.
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