Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital for normal functioning of the body. The human body does not produce vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. So it is important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.
The human body varies greatly in its vitamin C requirement. The amount of vitamin C found in food varies as dramatically as our requirements after exercise.
Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, are an important part of the body’s defense against muscle damage from exercise. Strenuous exercise increases the body’s production of free radicals, which, in turn, can cause muscle damage manifested as swollen or painful muscles after exercise. While exercise increases the body’s natural defense against free radicals, athletes who engage in intense training may benefit from the addition of antioxidant supplements to their diet.