Vitamins C and E – large doses

Vitamin C and vitamin E - large doses in endurance sports and losing weight

Antioxidants in training

Common availability and omnipresent promotion of the need to use vitamins with antioxidant properties makes people use them in large doses. Not always, however, more means better…

Recently, a study has been published, in which 54 young men and women for 11 weeks were subjected to exercises combining steady and interval trainings (most often on a bicycle).  Training sessions took place 3-4 times a week. During this time, one part of the group took 1000 mg of vitamin C and 235 mg of vitamin E per day in the form of the supplements.  On workout days the first part of the dosage fell between 1-3 hours before the training and the second part was taken one hour after workout. On non-workout days, half of the dosage was taken in the morning and the other half in the evening. During this whole time, the progress did not differ between the group taking the vitamin and the group not taking them. The maximal oxygen uptake and efficiency rose to a similar extent. Weight loss was also comparable, which may prove the crucial role of training for the achievements and not antioxidant vitamins supplementation. However, a certain disturbing phenomenon was observed. In the group taking vitamins C and E, the increase of mitochondria biogenesis markers was suppressed. It is explained by the antioxidant activity of the vitamins in question, which by leveling the quantity of oxidative compounds diminished their action power in signaling processes.

Actions in physically active people

Putting all of it in a human language… taking large doses of vitamins C and E per day may inhibit the processes of mitochondria creation, i.e. the cell organs crucial to providing energy to act. On their quantity and efficiency not only sport scores depend but also the pace of losing weight. Decreasing the amount of  markers makes us suspect that new mitochondria are created in lower quantity which means that the degree of organism adaptation to new conditions is decreased. Certainly, this should be confirmed by other research. In the above mentioned study, this was not reflected in the results, but it does not mean that in other conditions or for a longer time, the results would not be different (slower organism adaptation theoretically means slower goal achievement, fewer mitochondria theoretically mean slower energy material burning and by the same token, slower weight loss). As a summary it is worth adding that the right vitamin supply is crucial to proper functioning of our organism. However, their surplus in a diet does not always have to be beneficial to maintaining health and boosting results.

Paulsen G. Et al.: Vitamin C and E supplementation hampers cellular adaptation to endurance training in humans: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Physiology, February 3, 2014, doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.267419, published online before print.

Tags: health, muscle, vitamin, vitamin c, vitamin e

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